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Sales Numbers Are in: The Bud Light Boycott Is Working

Bud Light’s sales declined in the first week of a conservative-led boycott of the brand after it partnered with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney, according to analysis.

Dave Williams of Bump Williams Consulting told industry website Brewbound that packages of Bud Light showed accelerating declines in sales and shares for the week ending April 8, when the boycott started to pick up steam. He cited NIQ data for his assertion.

“That being said, while the increased declines for Bud Light were apparent, they were also not completely earth-shattering in terms of magnitude,” Williams wrote in a note, according to the publication. “Now, this will be interesting to monitor over upcoming weeks to see if this slide continues, but for now, it looks to be rough, but not catastrophic.”

Bud Light posted a 7 percent decline in off-premise dollar sales, a 10.7 percent decline in volume, and a 3.7 percent decline in dollar shares, he wrote. The company saw a 1.6 percent decline in dollar sales, a 6.4 percent decline in volume, and a 0.7 percent decline in dollar shares for the prior week.

“On the surface, the trends for Bud Light definitely do show some variance when it comes to sales, with some showing sharper declines in the L1W versus others,” Williams said. “On top of just dollar trends though, it’s been Bud Light’s share of [the] premium [segment] for the L1W that tells a pretty consistent story where Bud Light lost share to a more notable degree to its competitors.”

The light beer’s competitors saw their shares and sales increase, he said. Coors Light increased its dollar sales by 10.7 percent, its volume by 5.5 percent, and its dollar share by 1.5 percent, Williams noted. Miller Lite saw its dollar sales increase by 16.9 percent, its volume increase by 11.7 percent, and its dollar share increase by 2.3 percent in the same April 8 time period.

Widespread calls to boycott Bud Light were triggered earlier this month after Mulvaney, a male who claims to be female, posted about getting commemorative cans of Bud Light with his likeness on the label. Mulvaney and Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, confirmed they were involved in a campaign.

Country Singers Call for Bud Light Boycott

A handful of country singers suggested that consumers boycott the brand over the move. Last week, Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, said that Anheuser-Busch is a contributor to GOP candidates and called for an end to the boycott, receiving conservative backlash for his remarks.

“I’m not for destroying an American, an iconic company, for something like this. The company itself doesn’t participate in the same leftist nonsense as the other big conglomerates,” he said.

About a week ago, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth wrote a statement that the company “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people” but stopped short of mentioning Mulvaney or the campaign. The company also released a patriotic advertisement on social media—replete with American flags and iconic landmarks—that drew backlash from conservative commentators and influencers on social media.

“We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer,” he wrote. Whitworth also stopped short of apologizing for the company’s actions and did not mention the boycott.

Among the singers who called for the boycott was John Rich, who told Fox News that he pulled Bud Light from his Redneck Riviera bar in Nashville, Tennessee, earlier this month. Others who suggested a boycott were Travis Tritt and Kid Rock, who uploaded a video of himself shooting cases of the beer for target practice.

“Well, it looks like they’ve come out with this pro-America, patriotic old school Budweiser looking ad with the Clydesdales and the red, white, and blue and all that,” Rich said last week on Fox News. “Well, a little late for that. You know, the American public. We’re never left alone anymore. We literally can’t go anywhere without something divisive or political being thrown into our face. And I think when they went after the beer can, you know, something that people have loved for decades. You know, Bud Light, Coors Light, that’s kind of like Ford and Chevy.”

Some industry experts, however, suggested that boycotts are difficult to maintain and likely won’t work in the long-term.

“The vast majority of boycott calls fail,” Maurice Schweitzer, a professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, told ABC News earlier this month. “They fail because you need people to have a sustained and coordinated response,” he added. “Most people fall back on what is convenient and inexpensive.”

READ 43 COMMENTS
  • NoNikeEver says:

    Un-American Nike is next.
    Ban the Nike swastika!

  • Mike says:

    I gave up all a/b beers found a better beer

  • Paul D Frawley says:

    I’ve drank bud all my life. Never again

  • HARRY COLLIS says:

    Anheuser-Busch can suck eggs!!

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