The fallout from the Bud Light boycott has been raging for nearly two months, and week-over-week, sales are declining with no sign of slowing down. Recent reports show the week ending May 20, Bud Light sales were down 29.5 percent.
Bump Williams Consulting has been at the forefront of analyzing the plummeting Bud Light sales data since the boycott began in April. As mentioned, weekly sales volume was down almost 30 percent year-over-year for the latest batch of data. In the same time frame, revenue declined roughly 25.7 percent.
What’s notable is that week-over-week, the sales data continues to worsen, not improve. If executives at Bud Light thought the controversy would blow over after a month or two, they were wrong. They were also wrong if they thought the increase in advertising spend would rectify the situation in the short term. For perspective on the worsening sales data, in the week ending May 13, sales volume dropped 28.4 percent, an increase from 27.7 percent the prior week. In the week ending May 6, sales dropped 23.6 percent. The prior week saw sales decline 23.3 percent. So if anything, the boycott is heating up over time instead of cooling off.
In fact, sales have gotten so bad Bud Light is resorting to handing out its beer to customers for pennies on the dollar, if not free. Bud Light recently announced a rebate that would apply for Memorial Day Weekend, a popular holiday for barbecues and other get-togethers where drinking beer is a staple. The rebate would give customers a hefty $15 discount on certain Bud Light and Budweiser product purchases between May 17 and May 31.
In some cases, 15-packs of Bud Light sell for under $15, so with the rebate Anheuser-Busch is literally giving people free beer because they can’t sell it. Furthermore, reports show that some stores are selling 24-packs of Bud Light for as low as $3.49. That’s about 15 cents per beer. Twitter user Michael Hall posted a picture of a Bud Light and Budweiser display with the rebate applied to the sales tag on the beer, making it free. His caption said, “Displays seen in two different stores in Wisconsin, a state known for drinking a lot of beer:”
Displays seen in two different stores in Wisconsin, a state known for drinking a lot of beer: pic.twitter.com/x3vMD4Tp1r
— Haz (@Michael_Haz) May 24, 2023
The financial impact Anheuser-Busch has endured from the fallout of the boycott has been nothing short of disastrous. The company’s stock price has plummeted, erasing billions of market value for the parent company’s shareholders. According to a former American Tribune report, estimates show that Anheuser-Busch’s market value dropped a staggering $15.7 billion since April 1st, the start of the controversy.
Furthermore, data shows that Bud Light’s competitors have increased their share of market value as consumers have switched to drinking their beers. Other beer companies gained market value of approximately $3.2 billion. Molson Coors alone gained roughly $2.2 billion in market capitalization.
The business legend and famous shark on “Shark Tank,” Kevin O’Leary, slammed the executives responsible for the disastrous marketing promotion with Dylan Mulvaney. He tweeted, “Bud Light has become the poster boy for brand mismanagement. The narrative that has risen around Bud Light is a good lesson. It highlights the power of social media. People that didn’t like the message, took it out by boycotting the product immediately.”
Bud Light has become the poster boy for brand mismanagement. The narrative that has risen around Bud Light is a good lesson. It highlights the power of social media. People that didn't like the message, took it out by boycotting the product immediately. pic.twitter.com/Hf9xh6stDr
— Kevin O'Leary aka Mr. Wonderful (@kevinolearytv) May 23, 2023
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