Following the announcement of and backlash to Bud Light’s very controversial partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney, Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch saw a significant drop in sales figures for April. The drop is likely related to the Mulvaney situation, as other beer brands saw a slight rise in sales over the same period.
Such is what was released in a new report by Beer Business Daily. According to that report, Anheuser-Busch, particularly its flagship brands, Bud Light and Budweiser, faced net losses for four weeks in April leading up to April 29. That followed initial reports for April showing Bud Light’s in-store sales dropping by a whopping 26% for the week of April 22. The Beer Business Daily report said:
“A-B volumes went down 12.5% while Molson Coors was up 7.6% and Constellation up 3.8%. Bud Light was down 21.4% while Coors Light was up 10.9% and Miller Lite up 12.8%.”
Continuing, the report added, “Budweiser was down 11.5% while Yuengling was up 14.7% and Coors Banquet up 20.5% Even Miller Genuine Draft was up 3.7%. Busch down 5.3%, Natural down 6%, Keystone up 5.3%, and Pabst up 14.3%.”
Additionally, it reports that sales of Anheuser-Busch products in dollars went down by about 6.1%.
Fox News, adding more details about and context to the overall situation Bud Light and its parent company are now facing, reported:
Data from Connecticut-based Bump Williams Consulting also showed that total sales for Bud Light fell by 8% for the year so far, costing the company approximately $5 billion in losses.
Anheuser-Busch faced intense backlash after videos emerged of Mulvaney revealing that the influencer was sent a can of Bud Light featuring an image of her face in celebration for Mulvaney’s year of “girlhood” as well as preparation for March Madness. The promotion quickly led to calls for boycotts, particularly among conservative commentators.
In the meantime, the company has since attempted to make amends with its customers. Bud Light marketing vice president Alissa Heinerscheid and Daniel Blake, who oversees marketing for Anheuser-Busch’s mainstream brands, both took a leave of absence after backlash, particularly after Heinerscheid was caught in an interview blasting the brand as “fratty” with “out of touch humor.”
Further, the massive drop in sales comes despite Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light making numerous attempts at recovering and winning back former Bud Light drinkers. Bud Light, for example, ran a country-themed commercial in late April, but it was panned as “pandering” and didn’t help the brand’s image. It also gave distributors free cases of beer, but that doesn’t appear to have helped either.
Similarly, Anheuser-Busch’s CEO missed a statement on the matter, 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.”
Doukeris also noted that the distributors for the brand have suffered the most, saying, “This situation has impacted our people, especially our frontline workers, the delivery drivers, sales representatives, our wholesalers, bar owners and servers. We’ve been doing everything we can to support our teams, ensuring they are safe continuing to brew, package and – together with our wholesalers – deliver great beer to the market.”
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