Country image and consumer choice: The case of the beer market during the COVID-19 pandemic

In this paper, I exploit the exogenous shock to China's image in the COVID-19 pandemic era and study the impact of country image on consumer choice in the South Korean beer market. First, I find that Tsingtao, a popular Chinese beer brand, lost about 4.8 million liters in sales, a 20 percent decrease, during the first eight months after the COVID-19 outbreak. Second, the impact of China's worsened image had not weakened by October 2020. Third, top-selling non-Chinese beers absorbed most of Tsingtao's lost sales. These findings reveal that country image has a substantial influence on consumer choice.