In response to a significant decrease in sales of Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brandan Whitworth has directly addressed consumers to reassure them that their concerns are being heard. The decline in sales came as a result of a controversial partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. NielsenIQ data, provided by Bump Williams Consulting, indicates a 24.4% drop in Bud Light sales for the week ending June 3 compared to the same period last year. This downward trend has also persisted over the past four weeks, with sales down 24.6% compared to the corresponding time frame in the previous year.
Although there have been mounting concerns, Whitworth has chosen not to issue an apology. Instead, he emphasized Anheuser-Busch’s unwavering commitment to beer as a universally enjoyed product. He acknowledged that discussions surrounding the company had shifted away from the product itself towards controversial issues, which has had an impact on consumers, business partners, and employees.
In order to address the decline and chart a path forward, Whitworth outlined “three important actions” for the company. These actions include safeguarding the jobs of frontline employees through strategic investments and extending financial aid to independent wholesalers to support their staff. Furthermore, Whitworth assured consumers that the upcoming summer advertising campaign would highlight Bud Light’s core appeal as a beverage that is easy to drink and enjoy.
The decrease in Bud Light’s sales can be attributed to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s decision to send personalized Bud Light cans to various social media influencers, including Dylan Mulvaney. This move garnered significant backlash, with many consumers mistakenly believing that these customized cans were available for purchase in stores. As a result, consumers opted to boycott the brand and other Anheuser-Busch products as a form of protest.
While Bud Light’s market share has declined, its competitors have experienced growth. According to the same NielsenIQ data, Modelo Especial has surpassed Bud Light as the top-selling beer brand in terms of revenue for the four-week period ending June 3. Additionally, sales of Coors Light and Miller Lite have increased by 25.8% and 21.4%, respectively, during the same period.
Anheuser-Busch’s commitment to progressing and redirecting its focus towards its beer products reflects a clear effort to reshape the narrative and regain its position in the market.