Despite horrible taste ratings, Corona is the fifth-best-selling beer in the United States.
The Mexican beer is “growing while the rest of the beer business is drying up or being siphoned off by new small-batch brewers,” writes Kyle Stock at Bloomberg Businessweek.
The beer’s popularity is perplexing because critics agree that Corona tastes terrible, Stock writes.
“After 3,200 reviews at RateBeer.com, Corona has a grade of 1.69 out of 10,” according to Businessweek. “The Beer Advocate gives Corona an ‘awful’ rating of 55 out of 100 and the following description: ‘faded aromas of sulphur, faint skunk, mild cooked veggies.'”
Meanwhile, other Mexican beers like Negra Modelo and Dos Equis Amber have garnered better ratings.
So how has Corona managed to become so popular?
It’s all in the marketing, according to Stock.
Constellation, the company that owns Corona, began marketing the beer even more aggressively this year. The company specifically aimed to get people to buy the beach-friendly beer in the cold winter months.
To accomplish this goal, Constellation rolled out several ad campaigns. One featured former NFL Coach Jon Gruden, while another suggested Corona as the perfect beer to accompany Thanksgiving turkey.
But it’s not difficult to sell consumers on Corona’s image.
“The formula is simple: sand, sun, and lime wedges,” Stock writes.
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