Two glass bottling plants operated by the Ardagh Group will be shutting down in North Carolina and Louisiana, leaving approximately 645 employees without jobs. The decision to close the plants is a direct result of declining sales of Bud Light and the widespread boycotts triggered by the beer’s controversial partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. While the Ardagh Group has not provided an official reason for the closures, investigations have revealed that the plummeting Bud Light sales are to blame.
The impact of the boycotts has been felt throughout the industry, with retailers, distributors, bars, and contracted companies all experiencing negative effects. This has led to reduced production and a decrease in demand for the bottling plants. Employees at the affected plants have noticed a significant drop in production since Mulvaney’s collaboration with Bud Light gained attention. Many of them have revealed that a significant portion of their business involved producing bottles specifically for Budweiser and Bud Light. The decision by Budweiser to stop using their bottles has directly contributed to the closures and subsequent job losses.
In an attempt to recover from the backlash, Bud Light has implemented various strategies, such as heavily discounting beer and offering consumer rebates. They have also increased their marketing efforts and launched a new summer ad campaign. However, these efforts have not been successful in stopping the decline in sales. Recent data shows a 24.4% decrease in sales compared to the same period last year. Bud Light’s market value has taken a significant hit, losing billions of dollars, and it has now been surpassed by Modelo Especial as the top-selling beer brand.
Dylan Mulvaney, at the center of the Bud Light partnership, has expressed disappointment with the backlash and has highlighted the increase in bullying and transphobia as a result of the controversy. Mulvaney has criticized the lack of support from Bud Light and highlighted the challenges faced due to transphobia.
The closure of the glass bottling plants and the resulting job losses demonstrate the immense impact of consumer sentiment on business operations. The controversy surrounding Bud Light and the subsequent boycotts have led to a significant decline in demand, causing financial losses for the brand. As Bud Light struggles to navigate this fallout, the future of the brand remains uncertain, while affected employees face the daunting task of finding new job opportunities.