Bud Light’s sales have been… light.
The brand’s infamous relationship with transgender social media celebrity Dylan Mulvaney has resulted in five consecutive weeks of declining sales, casting doubt on the company’s viability as Memorial Day and the summer season draw near.
Low sales of other Anheuser-Busch products (including Bud Light) persisted at slower rates. Sales of Budweiser were down 9.7 percent, while those of Michelob Ultra fell 2.9 percent, and those of Natural Light fell 5.2 percent from the previous week.
Compared to the same period last year, Bud Light sales decreased by 23.6% across the country in the week ending May 6, according to statistics from Bump Williams Consulting and NielsenIQ.
The consulting firm’s CEO, Bump Williams, said that recent weeks’ drops in the -20% level made him wonder if this decline has bottomed out.
While Anheuser-Busch grapples with the Mulvaney repercussions, other beers have begun capturing a larger piece of the market.
Sales of Miller High Life increased by 10.4% compared to 8.3% the week prior, and sales of Pabst Blue Ribbon increased by 21.6% for the week ending May 6.
As Williams put it, Bud Light drinkers are waiting for an apology from Anheuser-Busch, which is genuine and includes clear communication about precisely what happened. They also must explain how vital the Bud Light drinkers are to the company.
The incident began on April 1 when Mulvaney advertised a personalized can of Bud Light that the brand sent to mark one year of “girlhood.”
(Mulvaney uses the term “girl” not “woman” at 26 years of age.)
Since then, prominent conservatives, including former President Donald Trump, have called for a boycott of Anheuser-Busch. However, the business maintains that it never entered into any marketing agreement with Mulvaney.
Officials from Anheuser-Busch and its distributors got together last week in St. Louis to talk business. A distributor who did not want to be named said that a temporary redesign of Budweiser and Bud Light aluminum bottles is one of the company’s initiatives.
The executive announced that the company would be releasing bottles decorated with camouflage patterns and images from the Folds of Honor program, which provides financial aid to the families of service soldiers killed or disabled in the line of duty.
It might be too little, too late.