Bud Light, a popular beer brand in the United States, has experienced a significant decline in sales and lost its position as the best-selling beer in the country. New figures from consulting firm Bump Williams reveal that Bud Light’s sales dropped by almost a quarter in the four-week period ending on June 3rd. The decline in sales can be attributed to a boycott initiated by some consumers after transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney showcased a personalized can of Bud Light. This blog post examines the impact of the boycott on Bud Light’s sales, the rise of Modelo Especial as the new best-selling beer, and the response from Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev.
The Rise of Modelo Especial:
According to the data analyzed by consulting firm Bump Williams, Modelo Especial has surpassed Bud Light to become the top-selling beer in the US. During the examined period, Modelo Especial accounted for 8.4% of US beer sales by value. The decline in Bud Light’s sales provided an opportunity for Modelo Especial to claim the coveted top spot in the market. This shift highlights the dynamic nature of the beer industry and the influence consumer sentiment can have on brand preferences.
The Boycott and its Impact:
The boycott against Bud Light gained momentum after Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer, posted an image on Instagram showcasing a personalized can of Bud Light. The promotion drew criticism from conservative pundits, politicians, and celebrities, prompting some consumers to stop purchasing Bud Light. Public figures such as musician Kid Rock, NFL player Trae Waynes, and model Bri Teresi joined the boycott by sharing videos of themselves shooting Bud Light cans. The negative sentiment surrounding the brand contributed to a significant decrease in sales since April.
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Response:
As Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev faced the repercussions of the boycott. Share prices of the company dropped, leading to the suspension of two executives. In response to the backlash, Brendan Whitworth, the CEO of AB InBev’s North American business, expressed that the intention was never to create division and emphasized the company’s commitment to bringing people together. Bud Light aired new advertisements featuring patriotic imagery and sought to clarify that the promotion was an isolated incident involving one can, one influencer, and one post.
Future Strategies and Investments:
Michel Doukeris, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, acknowledged the need to address the situation and highlighted the brand’s increased investments in the US market. The company is providing financial support to frontline teams and wholesalers, emphasizing their commitment to the Bud Light brand. Moving forward, Bud Light will need to regain consumer trust and rebuild its market position by implementing effective marketing strategies and ensuring a cohesive brand narrative.
The boycott against Bud Light triggered by the personalized can promotion has had a significant impact on the brand’s sales, leading to a decline in its position as the best-selling beer in the US. Modelo Especial has capitalized on this opportunity, emerging as the new leader in the market. The response from Anheuser-Busch InBev reflects their commitment to resolving the situation and revitalizing the Bud Light brand. The future success of Bud Light will rely on the company’s ability to regain consumer confidence through strategic marketing initiatives and maintaining a positive brand image.