The plummeting decline of Bud Light amid unrelenting backlash for its transgender sponsorship has the bestselling beer in America on track to be dethroned by year’s end: “We’ve never seen such a dramatic shift…in such a short period of time.”
A month after the InBev-owned Anheuser-Busch brand premiered its partnership with TikToker Dylan Mulvaney, attempts to stem the boycott bleeding have been unable to repair the damage. Speaking with the St. Louis Dispatch, beverage industry consultant Bump Williams outlined just how severe the reported 26 percent drop in sales for the week ending April 22 truly was.
The figure compared to the same week the year prior showed a continuing trend after Bud Light sales had dropped from 11 to 21 percent in the weeks before. Williams, the founder, president and CEO of Bump Williams Consulting, detailed that in 2022 Anheuser-Busch had sold more than $4.8 billion worth of Bud Light in stores, beating closest competitors Modelo Especial and Michelob Ultra at $3.75 and $3.3 billion respectively, by more than a billion dollars.
However, if they can’t turn things around, he expressed, “then Bud Light is in serious trouble this year. And I think it runs the risk of losing that No. 1 position at the end of calendar year 2023 to Modelo Especial.”
According to Beer Business Daily, “The shocking deterioration of Bud Light Blue’s market share continued apace through the third week of April — and actually somehow worsened. We’ve never seen such a dramatic shift in national share in such a short period of time.”
Well aware of the mistake, Bud Light had issued a non-apology statement, placed no less than two executi
ves on leave, and attempted to cleanse the public’s palette after force-feeding leftist ideology with a dash of traditional Americana.
As previously reported, following the release of an ad with its iconic Clydesdales, Bud Light premiered a spot during the NFL draft with young people at a festival having a good time in spite of rain as the Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” queued up.
On YouTube, where millions of views were met with a relative handful of likes, the beverage company had disabled the comments signaling how aware they were that their half-measures would not satisfy the customer base.
#BudLight launches new ad-and blocks commentshttps://t.co/K6hwctc9yC
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) May 1, 2023
Williams called attention to that as he brought up Alissa Gordon Heinerscheid, the Bud Light Vice President of Marketing behind Mulvaney’s inclusion, who had been placed on leave after her negative remarks about the brand’s base went viral.
“I mean, Bud Light has been kind of a brand of fratty, kind of out-of-touch humor, and it was really important we had another approach,” she had said in part.
“Her big miss was I don’t think she understood who the core Bud Light shopper was,” Williams offered. “When she came out with her comments, they were deemed as being derogatory, insulting and juvenile. And the Bud Light drinkers said ‘Enough of that.”
“I also think that what’s happening now is that anybody that is a Bud Light drinker and switches to Michelob Ultra because they don’t want to be seen holding a Bud Light, someone down the bar is going to say, ‘Hey, buddy, that’s an Anheuser-Busch product you’re holding,'” he continued, suggesting a negative halo effect had taken hold of the rest of the beverage company’s offerings.
“Right now,” Williams concluded, “their compass is completely broken. There’s no game plan.”
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