Sunday, March 15, 2020

No, Virginia, the coronavirus is not caused by Corona Beer

I overheard someone on the boardwalk today claiming that sales of Corona beer in the USA have tanked since the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, braying about how stupid and gullible Americans are.
Well, it just goes to show how stupid some Canadians are, because this is a prime example of fake news. In fact, Corona has seen its US sales INCREASE the early months of 2020 according to Constellation Brands, the owner of the Corona Beer brand. The rumour that it had fallen was due to false viral Facebook posts (here's an example). Ah, yes, Facebook, everyone's favourite source of news...
The rumour was probably exacerbated by a misquoted survey by 5W Public Relations, which suggested that 38% of respondants would never buy Corona beer. But these were not regular Corona drinkers, just beer drinkers in general. True, 4% of Corona drinkers said they would stop drinking Corona, which us bad enough, but not particularly significant statistically. Worse, 16% of respondants supposedly expressed some confusion as to whether the beer brand was related in some way to the coronavirus, although I would be interested to see how that particular question was phrased.
So, hey, maybe some beer drinkers are not that thoughtful. But let's not exaggerate things.
It was my wife who reminded me of the time when Americans swore off French fries and French toast in protest against the French government's refusal to back the US war against Iraq in 2003. Remember "freedom fries" and "freedom toast"? Not quite the same thing, granted, but nevertheless another victory of American chutzpah over common sense.

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