KEY POINTS

  • Group Modelo, the maker of Corona beer, will shut down factories on April 5
  • The shutdown is in relation to Mexico's orders to close non-essential operations
  • The supply of Corona beer among U.S. retailers is good for 70 days.

Corona beer's factory in Mexico is the latest victim of the coronavirus as Group Modelo, the beer company manufacturing and exporting the famous drink to 180 countries, decided to temporarily stop production and heed to its government's call to close non-essential businesses.

The government of Mexico ordered non-essential operations to close until the end of April after its COVID-19 cases increased to more than 1,500 and 50 deaths as of Friday, April 3.

Surveys suggest confusion between coronavirus and Corona beer may be tarnishing the brand's reputation in the United States Surveys suggest confusion between coronavirus and Corona beer may be tarnishing the brand's reputation in the United States Photo: AFP / Rodrigo ARANGUA

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that Mexico is now under a health emergency after he was criticized for not responding fast enough to the pandemic.

Group Modelo said in a statement that they were planning to limit production before the government made the call. The company has 11 breweries across Mexico, and it will shut down operations beginning Sunday, April 5.

Despite the shutdown, Grupo Modelo said that could guarantee a supply of beer if the government will reverse its order and consider breweries as an essential business. The president of Mexico said that his government would continue to assess what factories may continue to operate in the coming days. The company said that they can still keep with production even with 75 percent of its staff working from home.

In the United States, Corona and other Modelo beers are imported by Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 company. Chief Executive Officer Bill Newlands said that they have at least 70 days of inventory for all of its American retailers.

“We expect to have no disruption in our ability to produce product and deliver it to retail,” Newlands said.

Corona Beer trended in early March after many consumers mistook the brand as the source of the coronavirus. About 38 percent of American beer drinkers said in a survey that they would hold off buying Corona because of the pandemic.

However, Constellation Brands said that their sales weren't affected despite the misconception. Its sales rose up to 24 percent this March compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, as news of the beer factory shut down reached Mexican consumers, hundreds lined up at stores to purchase cases of Corona and other alcoholic drinks.