Dutch brewer Heineken has announced temporary closure of production of its beers at its seven plants in Mexico in order to comply with the containment measures for coronavirus pandemic which has caused concerns about shortage of beer in the country. Heineken’s rival in the Mexican market – Modelo, had also announced similar measures earlier.
The announcement by the company has caused a flutter among the Mexican public. The phrase “MexicoSinCerveza,” or Mexico without beer was one of the trending phrases on Twitter after the announcement.
The decision taken by the company to temporarily suspend all production work was in unison to the decision of the government to stop all non-essential economic activity in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Heineken Mexico, which employs 16,000 workers, said.
Similar measures were also announced earlier this by week by Grupo Modelo, producer of the Corona, Modelo and Pacifico brands.
However, supplies of Corona and Pacifico for the United States seemed to be safe for now. The Mexican plants of the US brewer Constellation Brands, which makes Modelo’s brands for the American market, were up and running even though local restrictions were being complied with by it, said the company on an earnings call.
Its distribution operations will conclude on Sunday, “in full alignment with the recommendations indicated by our authorities,” said Heineken Mexico, a unit of Heinken NV.
The company has also said that it would soon start to reduce operations “to a minimum … with the sole purpose of avoiding irreversible effects that could make it impossible to reactivate our economic activity.”
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases – the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in Mexico till now is just 1,510 while the number of deaths due to the infections is at 50.
The decision of Modelo to suspend production is related to the wider government efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic and the company said that there is no connection between Corona beer and the virus.
Corona means crown in Spanish and a crown is part of the beer’s logo.
The coronavirus also gets its name from the crown-like shape.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)