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Anheuser-Busch’s domestic beer sales still down 1 year after Bud Light controversy

Bud Light, made by Anheuser-Busch, sits on a store shelf on July 27, 2023, in Miami. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/TNS)

Beer sales in North America are still down for Anheuser-Busch InBev while its spirits brands are growing, the Belgium-based brewer shared with investors during its most recent earnings call Wednesday.

The first quarter report of 2024 comes over a year after A-B sent transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney a can featuring her face, which she shared in a video, leading to public outcries by some conservatives for a boycott.

A-B revenue was down almost 9% in the U.S. and Canada, due to a volume decline of nearly 10%, A-B InBev CEO Michel Doukeris said Wednesday morning.

Yet, Doukeris called A-B’s beer sector in the U.S. resilient, with “beer volumes improving sequentially through the quarter and dollar sales continuing to grow versus last year.”

Overall, total volume declined by 0.6%, with poor performance in the U.S., Argentina and China, but total revenue increased by $334 million, or 2.6%, $14.5 billion.

Though Bud Light sales tanked last year, the company said it has been regaining momentum in the market thanks to brands like Michelob Ultra, Busch Light, Cutwater and Nutrl.

Both Michelob Ultra and Busch Light saw all-time high market shares in the last few weeks and the company looks forward to continued growth of these products with the upcoming Olympics and Team USA partnership and summer holidays, said Fernando Tennenbaum, A-B InBev’s CFO.

Cutwater and Nutrl, two of A-B’s spirit brands, helped push non-beer volumes to grow 3.5% this first quarter, he said.

“We are today just 1% on this industry, but we account for roughly 15% of the dollar growth,” Tennenbaum said, of the ready-to-drink sector. “Both brands are in the top 10 growing spirits brands in the U.S. and both brands are already part of the top ranked brands in dollar sales in the U.S.”


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