The Wall Street Journal noted that the ‘biggest beneficiary of Bud Light’s woes’ is rival company Molson Coors Beverage
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that “Bud Light sales might never fully regain the ground they have lost to competitors” as stores clear their shelves to make room for other brands.
Bud Light sparked a firestorm of controversy in April after it collaborated with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Since then the beer has suffered a nearly 30% loss in sales compared to the year before. On Thursday, Anheuser-Busch InBev also announced that it would be laying off hundreds of workers.
The Wall Street Journal noted that as Bud Light sales continue “cratering,” the “biggest beneficiary of Bud Light’s woes” is rival company Molson Coors Beverage.
“There are reasons to believe that Bud Light sales might be permanently impaired. Molson Coors Chief Executive Gavin Hattersley said on a conference call with analysts that retailers are already reallocating space to other brands during shelf resets that take place in the spring, with more resets to come in the fall,” The Journal reported. “In bars and other on-premise channels, the company gained more than 12,000 tap handles in the quarter, he added.”
Cans of Budweiser and Bud Light sit on a shelf for sale at a convenience store.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
The Journal went on to note that “Molson Coors also said it is planning an additional $100 million of marketing spending in the second half of the year to keep that sales momentum. ‘Our job is to maintain those gains that we’ve got,’ Hattersley said.”
Washington Post journalist Megan McArdle responded to The Journal’s report, “I remain shocked by the durability of the effects of the conservative boycott on Bud Light. WSJ reports that retailers are now reallocating shelf space to other brands, which will help lock in the decline.”
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro replied, “Mediocre product+worst marketing move against its own consumer base in history+easily available alternatives = brand death.”
Bud Light sales suffered dramatically after partnering with Dylan Mulvaney. (iStock)
Miller Lite cans on display at the Miller Lite Beer Hall.(Craig Barritt/Getty Images for MAC Presents)
An anonymous beer distributor told the New York Post on Monday about how Bud Light as a brand may never fully recover from its controversy, partially because of the nature of the beer market itself.
“Consumers have made a choice,” the executive told The Post. “They have left [Bud Light] and that’s how it’s going to be. I don’t envision a big percentage of them coming back.”
The executive also observed that customers have had sufficient time to switch to alternative brands like Coors Light and Miller Lite that “are a very similar product” leaving much of the competition to “whoever is best at marketing.”
A sign disparaging Bud Light beer is seen along a country road on April 21, 2023 in Arco, Idaho.(Natalie Behring/Getty Images)