Anheuser-Busch’s stock has recently entered bear market territory after a 2 percent drop this week. The boycott of Bud Light has continued to rage on with no sign of slowing down.
A stock typically falls into bear market territory after a significant price decline of 20 percent or more over a period of time. The Bud Light parent company’s stock has taken a nosedive since its recent high in late March of $66. Anheuser-Busch stock now hovers around $53. This represents a $26 billion loss in market value over the last two months.
Sales for rival beer companies have shot up during the same period as the competitors have taken market share away from Bud Light. Molson Coors, the company that owns Miller Light and Coors Light, has seen an increase in sales of 15 percent year-over-year. Furthermore, the competitor to Anheuser-Busch has seen its stock price increase 19 percent over the last two months, almost the inverse of Anheuser-Busch’s stock performance. It’s almost as if everyone who boycotted Bud Light switched to Molson Coors products.
The American Tribune recently reported that Bud Light sales figures paint a dire picture for the beer. For the week ending May 20, Bud Light’s sales volume was down 29.5 percent, with a corresponding revenue decline of 25.7 percent. In the week ending May 13, sales volume declined 28.4 percent, accelerating the prior week’s 27.7 percent drop. Furthermore, these declining mid-May figures are a substantial increase from early May.
Other products under Anheuser-Busch’s umbrella have not been immune to Bud Light’s boycott either. For example, Budweiser sales have dropped 11.2 percent, Michelob Ultra declined 6.5 percent, Natural Light has fallen 4.9 percent, and Busch Light has dropped 5.2 percent. On top of that, Bud Light which has long held the title of most popular beer in America is poised to lose that title to competing beers. Modelo Especial has seen significant gains in sales during the Bud Light boycott, increasing by 9 percent in the same week Bud Light tanked over 25 percent. Experts predict Modelo could overtake Bud Light this year, stealing its long-held title.
The figures indicate that the boycott has been gaining more steam as it continues. Kevin O’Leary has spoken about the Bud Light controversy, labeling the brewing company the preeminent example of brand mismanagement. He also noted the role social media has played in perpetuating the boycott. He said, “Number one, it highlights the power of social media. This, this issue went viral in 48 hours.”
He continued to explain how most controversies blow over relatively quickly, but this is not what has happened with Bud Light. Mr. Wonderful continued, “Yeah. And most often when an issue goes viral like that, it burns out in another 48 hours. But that’s not what happened. Hear the story and narrative change to sales.” O’Leary noted that he turned the Bud Light boycott into a case study for his CEOs, instructing them how not to manage their brands since we are in the second month of the prolonged controversy that has had dire financial consequences for Bud Light and Anheuser-Bsuch. Bud Light might be the most famous example of “go woke, go broke.”
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