The Bud Light boycott hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. The latest sales data indicates that the Bud Light sales have continued to decline. Furthermore, the controversy is also beginning to impact other Anheuser-Busch brands.
According to the New York Post, nationwide sales of Bud Light declined 23.4 percent year-over-year during the week of April 29. The week prior, sales dropped 21.4 percent versus the prior year. Additionally, those boycotting Bud Light have also quit drinking the various other brands owned by Anheuser-Busch, such as Budweiser and Michelob-Ultra. During the week of April 29, Budweiser sales dropped 11.4 percent, and Michelob-Ultra fell 4.4 percent.
Other Anheuser-Busch brands, Natural Light and Busch Light saw a 5.2 percent and 1.8 percent decline, respectively. CEO of Bump Williams Consulting, Bump Williams, has discussed the implications of Bud Light’s falling sales, stating the company is in “serious trouble.“ Williams said, “Bud Light is in serious trouble this year. I think it runs the risk of losing that No. 1 position at the end of calendar year 2023 to Modelo Especial.” Williams also noted the impact the controversy has had on other Anheuser-Busch brands. He said, “It’s not just a Bud Light issue. It’s an Anheuser-Busch portfolio problem now.”
“If Bud Light doesn’t fix its trend by the end of this month, it will continue to lose market share because it will lose Memorial Day. That kicks off the summer season,” Williams claimed. “There has to be a sense of urgency for InBev to correct these trends.”
Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris has made recent statements indicating the parent company’s actions to contain this crisis. Doukeris recently tried to downplay the promotion with Dylan Mulvaney, saying, “We need to continue to clarify the fact that this was one can, one influencer and one post and not a campaign… As we move forward, we have adjusted and streamlined our marketing structure so the most senior marketeers are more closely connected to every aspect of our brands.”
Bud Light is looking to significantly increase its advertising spending to recover from the boycott. “We are investing behind Bud Light tripling our need investment for the summer, and we are investing more together with our wholesalers in our local markets,” Doukeris said. “Just last week, Bud Light was on the stage at the NFL Draft. We released a new TV commercial that continues our campaign. The current campaign is easy to drink, easy to enjoy.”
Anheuser-Busch is also looking to prop up some of its distributors who are dealing with the consequences of the Bud Light controversy first-hand. “This situation has impacted our people and especially our frontline workers: The delivery drivers; sales representatives; our wholesalers; Bud owners; and servers,” Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris told investors on an earning call last week.
The CEO also announced the company would be investing in funds to support these distributors as they suffer financially from the boycott on Bud products. “We are providing direct financial support to the frontline teams that work for us and our wholesalers,” Doukeris said. Reportedly, Anheuser-Busch will also pay $500 bonuses to delivery drivers, sales representatives, and other employees who are dealing with the consequences of the backlash firsthand.
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