Recent reports indicate Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch is preparing a temporary redesign of some Budweiser and Bud Light products amid the fallout from the Dylan Mulvaney controversy. The new design for certain beer bottles will feature a camouflage pattern to pay tribute to the “Folds of Honor” charity which financially supports the families of veterans and first responders in need.
This marketing promotion utilizing a camouflage pattern is starkly different than having the face of a transgender activist on a can. The redirection in marketing strategy comes after Bud Light and other brands have experienced a significant decline in sales. Conservative commentator Collin Rugg tweeted about Bud Light sales figures from the end of April, accompanied by a video from a grocery store where no one was buying any Anheuser-Busch products:
Absolutely insane. The Bud Light boycott is working. Bud Light sales (outside of restaurants and bars) are down 26.1% for the week ending in April 22nd compared to the previous year. Sales were down 21.1% for the week prior. Volumes are down 8% for the year. Coors Light and Miller Light are picking up the slack as their volume was up 13.3% percent 13.6% for the same time frame. Go woke go broke.
Absolutely insane. The Bud Light boycott is working.
Bud Light sales (outside of restaurants and bars) are down 26.1% for the week ending in April 22nd compared to the previous year.
Sales were down 21.1% for the week prior.
Volumes are down 8% for the year.
Coors Light and… pic.twitter.com/8lM7Y0MwMT
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) May 2, 2023
Conservative beer drinkers have also extended the boycott to other brands that fall under the ownership of Anheuser-Busch. The American Tribune reported:
According to the New York Post, nationwide sales of Bud Light declined 23.4 percent year-over-year during the week of April 29. The week prior, sales dropped 21.4 percent versus the prior year. Additionally, those boycotting Bud Light have also quit drinking the various other brands owned by Anheuser-Busch, such as Budweiser and Michelob-Ultra. During the week of April 29, Budweiser sales dropped 11.4 percent, and Michelob-Ultra fell 4.4 percent.
Industry experts have warned that if Anheuser-Busch does not contain this boycott soon, it could have severe implications for the status of the company’s brand reputation and operational success. Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris has made recent statements indicating the plan of action moving forward and claiming that there was no campaign or partnership with Mulvaney, only a single post.
Additionally, the situation comes amidst HSBC having added to Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch’s woes after analyst Carlos Labor downgraded the stock over the ongoing “crisis” stemming from the heavily-criticized partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In a statement recommending the downgraded recommendation to “hold” the stock, meaning he no longer suggested investors buy into Anheuser-Busch, Laboy claimed that there are “deeper problems than ABI admits.”
“ABI’s leadership is not getting the brand culture transformation right, Laboy said of the recent downgraded. Subsequently, the stock tumbled. “At Ambev, we think the answer is ‘yes’; in the US, we think it’s ‘no.’ The way this Bud Light crisis came about a month ago, management’s response to it, and the loss of unprecedented volume and brand relevance raises many questions.”
Particularly, management’s refusal to apologize or otherwise woo back former Bud Light drinkers with anything more than a changed bottle design might indicate to Lavoy and stock-pickers like him that it’s not a company that can be trusted to make smart financial decisions.
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