Anheuser-Busch, the multinational conglomerate and parent company of popular beer brands such as Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, and Natural Light, is currently grappling with declining sales and a growing backlash following recent marketing controversies. Sales figures indicate that the decline in sales has affected not only Bud Light but also other brands under the company’s umbrella. Let’s delve into the details and explore the ongoing situation.
According to retail data from Bump Williams Consulting and NielsenIQ, Bud Light experienced a significant decline of 23.6% in the week ending May 6 compared to the same period last year. This decline follows a slightly smaller drop of 23.3% in the previous week ending April 29. Sales of other Anheuser-Busch brands, including Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, and Natural Light, also witnessed considerable declines during the same weeks.
Bump Williams, CEO of the consulting firm, expressed concerns about the company’s ability to address the issue as the summer selling season commenced. In an attempt to rectify the situation, Anheuser-Busch recently held meetings with distributors to discuss strategies, which may include a redesign of Bud Light and Budweiser aluminum bottles. However, the decline in Bud Light sales seems to have stabilized at around negative 20% on a weekly basis.
Williams highlighted the importance of a genuine and sincere apology from Anheuser-Busch, along with clear communication about what transpired, as expectations from Bud Light’s typical consumer base continue to mount. The decline in sales suggests that consumers are dissatisfied with the company’s response so far.
The negative impact on Anheuser-Busch’s brands has presented a boon for its competitors. Pabst Blue Ribbon recorded a notable increase in sales, rising 21.6% year-over-year in the week ending May 6, while Miller High Life also experienced sales growth during the same period.
Anheuser-Busch’s attempts to distance itself from the partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney have sparked backlash from both conservatives and leftists. While conservative consumers have been critical of the company’s association with Mulvaney, leftists demand that Anheuser-Busch stand in solidarity with Mulvaney and the transgender community.
Anheuser-Busch is not the only beer company facing controversies. A recent expletive-filled advertisement by Miller Lite, targeting past marketing campaigns that objectified bikini-clad models, attracted criticism. This has led to debates about the role of humor in advertisements and the potential for further boycotts within the industry.
Anheuser-Busch sales continue to drop in the wake of the boycott. 📉🍻🔻
♦️ -23.6% (Week ending May 6th)
♦️ -23.3% (Week ending April 29th)
♦️ -26% (Week ending April 22nd)
🔸-9.7% (Week Ending May 6th)
🔸 -11.4% (Week ending April 29th) pic.twitter.com/7O6G9mQbXq
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) May 17, 2023