As we enter the fifth month of the ongoing Bud Light controversy, concerns are mounting that the beer brand may never fully regain the ground it lost since early April.
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The ill-fated Dylan Mulvaney promotion has resulted in severe repercussions, including significant double-digit declines in sales, billions of dollars lost in market value for Anheuser-Busch, the parent company, and a damaged brand image that may prove irreparable.
Ever since the backlash unfolded, there has been a consistent decline in weekly sales figures, plummeting by nearly 30 percent compared to the same period in 2022.
The decline has undoubtedly favored Bud Light’s competitors, who are reaping the benefits of the brand’s troubles. With consumers boycotting Bud Light and other Anheuser-Busch products, they have sought out alternative brands like Molson Coors, Yuengling, or Modelo Especial.
A recent Wall Street Journal article notes: “Bud Light sales might never fully regain the ground they have lost to competitors.” According to the report, rival Molson Coors emerged as the primary beneficiary of Bud Light’s misfortune, particularly in terms of sales.
“Meanwhile, the biggest beneficiary of Bud Light’s woes, Molson Coors Beverage,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “The maker of both Coors Light and Miller Lite said net sales in the second quarter rose 11.8% from a year earlier, or 12.1% in constant currency terms, in line with analyst estimates.”
The WSJ also noted that shares of Constellation Brands, the parent company of Modelo Especial’s U.S. operations, have experienced a significant increase.
“Shares of Constellation Brands, owner of the U.S. Modelo Especial brand, which has surpassed Bud Light as the country’s top-selling beer, are up around 19% since end-March,” the Journal reported.
There is compelling evidence suggesting that Bud Light sales are “permanently impaired,” as noted by Molson Coors CEO, Gavin Hattersley. During a conference call, Hattersley mentioned that retailers are reallocating shelf space that was previously designated for Bud Light to other brands instead.
That further supports the notion that Bud Light’s sales decline might have long-lasting effects.
“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 WSJ reported.