Bud Light, the popular beer brand owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, recently faced challenges in its U.S. market share after a promotion with a transgender influencer sparked controversy. This article delves into the details of the promotion, its impact, and the company’s efforts to stabilize its market share. Consumer sentiments and investor opinions regarding the incident are also explored.
In early April, Bud Light collaborated with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney and sent her a commemorative can to celebrate diversity and inclusivity. However, the promotion faced backlash from conservative groups, leading to a decline in Bud Light’s sales and U.S. revenue in the second quarter, dropping by 10.5%.
During April, Bud Light experienced a significant drop in its market share, decreasing by more than 5% to 36.9% for all brands. However, from the end of April to the end of June, the company’s market share stabilized, with some other brands like Busch Lite and Michelob Ultra gaining market share during this period.
The promotion’s aftermath has been costly for Bud Light. In June, it lost its position as America’s best-selling beer, a title it held for over two decades, falling to second place behind Modelo Especial. In July, Bud Light’s U.S. retail sales dropped by 26% compared to the same period the previous year.
Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO, Michel Doukeris, expressed confidence in Bud Light’s future, citing internal polling showing 80% of U.S. consumers remained favorable or neutral towards the brand. He emphasized focusing on beer and popular platforms like the NFL and music, as consumers want to enjoy their beer without getting involved in debates.
To mitigate the impact on U.S. wholesalers, Anheuser-Busch InBev plans to offer financial support until the end of December to compensate for lost Bud Light sales. Despite some investor concerns about discounts on Bud Light, Doukeris explained that price increases in the past year allowed them to offer these discounts. The company also had summer marketing campaigns planned to regain lost ground.
The promotion with Dylan Mulvaney triggered diverse reactions from the public. Conservative figures and others called for a boycott of Bud Light, criticizing its association with Mulvaney. On the other hand, Mulvaney’s supporters criticized Bud Light for not adequately supporting her and handling the backlash effectively. Mulvaney herself spoke out about facing bullying and transphobia after the promotion.
During an earnings call, Doukeris acknowledged the situation and the lessons learned without mentioning Mulvaney by name. He emphasized the company’s commitment to moving forward and focusing on successful activities from the past. Despite Bud Light’s challenges, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s overall revenue rose by 7.2% in the second quarter, driven by global brands like Stella Artois and Corona, which they aim to leverage to offset the decline in Bud Light sales.
Bud Light’s promotion with a transgender influencer had a significant impact on its U.S. market share, leading to declining sales and losing its position as America’s best-selling beer. However, the company remains optimistic, citing favorable consumer sentiment and strategic measures to support wholesalers. As Bud Light navigates the aftermath of the promotion, its efforts to rebound and regain market share will be closely watched.
Q: What was the objective of Bud Light’s promotion with Dylan Mulvaney? A: The promotion aimed to celebrate diversity and inclusivity by collaborating with a transgender influencer, Dylan Mulvaney.
Q: How did the promotion impact Bud Light’s market share? A: Bud Light experienced a decline in its market share, with a drop of more than 5% in April. However, the market share stabilized from the end of April to the end of June.
Q: Did Bud Light face any consequences due to the promotion? A: Yes, Bud Light lost its position as America’s best-selling beer in June, slipping into second place behind Modelo Especial.
Q: How did consumers react to the promotion? A: The promotion triggered mixed reactions, with calls for a boycott from conservative figures and criticism from Mulvaney’s supporters for not doing enough to support her.
Q: What measures did Anheuser-Busch InBev take to stabilize its market share? A: To support its U.S. wholesalers, the company plans to provide financial assistance until the end of December. Additionally, summer marketing campaigns were in place to regain lost ground.
First reported by AP News.