Grupo Modelo in Mexico stops brewing, including Corona

Canned beer grew in Mexico and in other markets with the premiumisation of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s brands

Leading brewer in Mexico Grupo Modelo has stopped production temporarily after its business activities were declared non-essential under a government order aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The closure of Grupo Modelo’s 11 plants is unrelated to the name of its leading brand Corona which, along with other brands, is exported to 180 countries.

Reuters reported that the Mexican government had declared a health emergency and ordered the suspension of non-essential activities after the number of coronavirus cases in the country surpassed 1,000. On 2 April, it reported 1,510 cases and 50 deaths.

Modelo, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced in a statement that the suspension will start from Sunday 5 April. The brewer said it was already in the process of scaling down production to a level at which it could resume once the suspension is lifted.

The statement added: “If the federal government considers it appropriate to issue some clarification confirming beer as an agro-industrial product, at Grupo Modelo we are ready to execute a plan with more than 75 per cent of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer.”

Agriculture and food production in general are considered essential activities in Mexico.