The headlines only keep worsening for Bud Light as the company struggles to reposition itself in the beer industry amid the ongoing boycott against it. The latest batch of sales data shows Bud Light’s performance ahead of the 4th of July weekend, and things are still looking dismal for the beer company.
For the week ending June 24, sales of Bud Light declined by approximately 27.9 percent compared to the same time last year. Notably, this is the second-worst week of sales since the backlash kicked off in early April when Bud Light collaborated with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Additionally, the number of sales declined by over 31 percent compared to last year.
Since the controversy initially unfolded, Bud Light’s sales have continually plummeted, consistently seeing declines above 20 percent. However, as the months have dragged on, the declines have actually worsened instead of seeing improvements. The worst Bud Light sales data batch was for the week ending June 17, where sales figures tanked 28.5 percent.
Executives at Bud Light and Anheueser-Busch were likely hoping the controversy would die down after its first couple of months and consumers would return to the beer during the summer season. However, the exact opposite has happened, and the sales data suggests the boycott has gotten stronger over time. The fact that there has been well over an entire financial quarter where Bud Light has been doing a fraction of its normal business has led to speculation that the boycott could be indefinite.
If there was a time when Bud Light really needed to see an improvement in sales, it was the 4th of July holiday. “The Fourth of July is the biggest beer holiday in terms of retail sales and an opportunity to move a lot of volume,” said Dave Williams, vice president of Bump Williams Consulting. The sales data isn’t out for the week of the 4th, but if past data is any indication, Bud Light won’t see an improvement.
In Bud Light’s fall from grace among beer drinkers, other competing brands have seen significant sales increases and notched billions to their market capitalizations. Particularly, Modelo Especial stole the coveted title of top-selling beer in America. This shows there is still ample demand for beer and that consumers are just not buying Bud Light anymore.
Recently, Dylan Mulvaney slammed Bud Light for allegedly not backing the transgender influencer sufficiently. Bud Light has also caught backlash from the LGBTQ community for not standing firm in its commitment to Mulvaney, and some gay bars have even stopped selling the beer. Anheuser-Busch executive Michel Doukeris tried to walk back the company’s association with Mulvaney earlier this year.
“For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse than not hiring a trans person at all because it gives customers permission to be as transphobic and hateful as they want,” Mulvaney said in a social media post uploaded recently. “It has serious and grave consequences for the rest of our community, and we’re customers too.”
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