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Bud Light is in “serious trouble” and could lose the title of bestselling beer in America as backlash to the infamous promo with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney continues to haunt the company, according to a report in its hometown paper.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a scathing story, “Bud Light sales continue to plummet after transgender marketing controversy,” that put a spotlight on the massive decline.
Bud Light in-store sales have dropped 26% during the week that ended April 22, the Post-Dispatch reported citing data from Connecticut-based Bump Williams Consulting, which specializes in the booze industry.
The Post-Dispatch noted “the decline is only accelerating,” as Bud Light had shed 21% of its sales the previous week and 11% the week before that. Total sales are down 8% for the year, according to the paper.
Bump Williams himself, the founder and CEO of the company that shares his name, told the Post-Dispatch that Bud Light is still the top-selling beer in America but “Bud Light is in serious trouble this year” if Anheuser-Busch can’t halt the decline soon.
“I think it runs the risk of losing that No. 1 position at the end of calendar year 2023 to Modelo Especial,” Williams told the paper.
Anheuser-Busch, which has long been headquartered in St. Louis where the Post-Dispatch has significant influence, has been mocked, criticized and boycotted since the pact with Mulvaney was revealed.
The ordeal began in March when Mulvaney publicized that the beer company sent packs of Bud Light featuring the influencer’s face as a way to celebrate a full year of “girlhood.”
Mulvaney said the cans were her “most prized possession” on Instagram with a post featuring “#budlightpartner.” A video then featured Mulvaney in a bathtub drinking a Bud Light beer as part of the campaign. Backlash from conservatives has been swift, and parent company Anheuser-Busch has been faced with plummeting sales as a result.
Anheuser-Busch provided the Post-Dispatch with the same statement it gave Fox News Digital last month.
“Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics. From time to time we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public,” an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
Bud Light marketing vice president Alissa Heinerscheid reportedly took a leave of absence following the controversial partnership. The company has also hired consultants with experience in Washington, D.C.’s conservative circles to advise the brand moving forward.
Fox Business’ Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.