Anheuser-Busch and its Bud Light product line have faced significant setbacks in recent months due to a self-inflicted error by its leaders. The decision to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Dylan Mulvaney, a biological male who identifies as a “girl,” has caused serious repercussions for Bud Light.
Following the Mulvaney stunt, a boycott of Bud Light and other Anheuser-Busch brands gained momentum quickly, dealing a severe blow to sales. Retailers struggled to move the product, resulting in Bud Light being nearly given away as sales plummeted. In an attempt to reverse the damage, the company placed executives on leave, but their efforts to regain the loyalty of previous customers have proven largely ineffective.
In May, Bud Light’s top-seller status was usurped by Modelo Especial, distributed in the U.S. by Constellation Brands. This shift in rankings demonstrates the lasting damage inflicted on Bud Light’s brand image as a result of diving headfirst into woke gender politics. According to The Wall Street Journal, Modelo represented 8.4% of U.S. retail-store beer sales in the four weeks ending June 3, surpassing Bud Light’s 7.3%. Bud Light’s sales were down approximately 24% in the week ending June 3 compared to the same period the previous year.
The decline in Bud Light’s sales throughout May raises concerns for its distributors, particularly during the critical period between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Many Anheuser-Busch distributors, often family-owned businesses that have sold Budweiser for generations, now face the possibility of layoffs. While some distributors who also carry Constellation brands have experienced losses, they have been partially offset by the surge in Modelo sales.
Despite Bud Light’s claim that its total sales over the first five months of the year remain higher than any other beer, Bud Light distributors fear that the brand may be permanently dethroned. The repercussions of the ill-advised foray into woke gender politics continue to resonate, underscoring the importance of considering the values and preferences of their consumer base.