The repercussions of Bud Light’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney are continuing to affect the beer maker. The Anheuser-Busch product recently lost its long-running place as the most-sold beer brand in the United States.
Figures from the end of May show that Bud Light lost its crown to Modelo Especial. Modelo saw a significant increase in sales since the start of the Mulvaney controversy, and sold $333 million in beverages through most of May, compared to $297 million for Bud Light.
Ironically, the brand was previously operated by Anheuser-Busch in the American market prior to selling to new owner Constellation. The company announced a new push to further popularize Modelo in the coming months.
Bud Light’s latest stumble comes at the start of the heaviest beer-consumption months of the year, marking a potentially ominous near-term forecast.
Mulvaney announced a partnership with Bud Light on social media in April. Since the post and a promotional can featuring the activist, consumption of the beer has sharply fallen.
The marketing effort sparked a significant backlash from consumers, especially conservatives. Following numerous calls for a boycott of the brand, including from popular singer Kid Rock, sales steeply declined.
Recent figures show that the brand suffered a nearly 25% decline in sales figures from last year.
The Bud Light boycott has dethroned it from the top of the U.S. beer market. Modelo Especial has taken its place. https://t.co/uNHqwzjnv3
— Not the Bee (@Not_the_Bee) June 7, 2023
The significant decline in beverage sales came even as Bud Light’s parent company attempted to entice sales through significant rebates. Some of the coupons resulted in the beer being effectively sold for free.
In addition, Anheuser-Busch’s stock has suffered a significant decline. Its shares have lost approximately $27 billion in value over the last two months. Not only has Bud Light seen a precipitous decline in retail sales, but so have other Anheuser-Busch brands such as Michelob Ultra and Budweiser.
The controversy surrounding the beer brand also comes during a similar boycott of Target over a number of LGBT-themed displays and products. Many conservatives argued that the marketing, including occult and satanist-themed items, was disproportionately aimed at children.
Target has suffered a similar decline in stock price since the start of the boycott.