Bud Light in-store sales dropped more than 26% year-over-year in mid-April as Anheuser-Busch continues to struggle under the weight of an ongoing boycott over its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
According to Beer Business Daily, the decline in Bud Light sales “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.”
On April 1, Mulvaney posted a video on Instagram promoting a Bud Light sweepstakes competition and showed a beer can with his face on it that he said the company sent him.
The partnership sparked a nationwide boycott, which gained the attention and support of popular cultural figures, including artist Kid Rock and country music star Travis Tritt.
Anheuser-Busch has released two new ads since the boycott started in apparent attempts to win back Americans who are boycotting the company. Its latest Bud Light ad, widely criticized as “pandering,” was posted on YouTube with the comments turned off.
The CEO of Anheuser-Busch also recently released a statement titled “Our Responsibility to America.”
In the statement, CEO Brendan Whitworth did not explicitly address the controversy, but implied it was a misstep in the company’s messaging.
“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” Whitworth stated. “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
“My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect for one another,” he continued. “As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage.”
“Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation,” he added.
Beer-industry specialists at Bump Williams Consulting warned that Bud Light “is in serious trouble this year.”
“I think it runs the risk of losing that No. 1 position at the end of calendar year 2023 to Modelo Especial,” Bump Williams, founder and CEO of the Connecticut-based consulting firm, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.