According to Bump Williams Consulting and NielsenIQ data, US retail sales of Bud Light have dropped 23.4 percent versus a year ago during the week of April 29. The decline was worse than the 21.4 percent the brand suffered a week earlier.
Budweiser took an 11.4 percent sales hit for the week ending April 29, while Michelob Ultra, the third-biggest-selling in the US behind Bud Light and Modelo Especial, was down 4.4 percent, according to the data.
Bump Williams, chief executive of the consultancy told The New York Post, “It’s not just a Bud Light issue, It’s an Anheuser-Busch portfolio problem now.”
Anheuser-Busch’s Natural Light brand was down 5.2 percent and Busch Light was a 1.8 percent drop.
Bud Light and Budweiser are the only top 10 US beers whose sales have dropped this year. Williams told The Post, “If Bud Light doesn’t fix its trend by the end of this month, it will continue to lose market share because it will lose Memorial Day. That kicks off the summer season. There has to be a sense of urgency for InBev to correct these trends.”
This was the fourth consecutive week of double-digit sales drops following Anheuser-Busch’s marketing tie-up with Mulvaney, a transgender influencer, who posted videos of herself sitting in a bubble bath drinking Bud Light.
Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketer’s Insights, told The Post, “Anecdotally we are hearing that sales of Bud Light are declining more rapidly at bars and restaurants where some consumers don’t want to be seen drinking it or they are getting into arguments over the brand.”
Rival brewers such as Coors Light and Miller Light have each seen more than a 20 percent increase in sales in the week ended April 29 compared to a year ago, according to Bump Williams and Nielsen data.
Pabst Blue Ribbon was also up 18.9 percent and Keystone Light was up 15 percent.
Anheuser-Busch chief executive, Michel Doukeris has attempted to distance the company from the Mulvaney partnership and told investors during an earnings call last week, “We need to clarify the facts that this was one can, one influencer, one post and not a campaign.
According to The Post, the company told distributors that an outside ad agency was responsible for using Mulvaney to promote Bud Light but has not named the marketing agency.
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