Bud Light has experienced a significant decline in beer sales in recent weeks following their partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney on April 1. According to Beer Business Daily, Bud Light’s market share has continued to deteriorate throughout April, with sales for the week ending April 29 down 26.1% from 2022 and the previous week had seen a decrease of 21.2%, with an 11% decline the week before that.
As sales for Bud Light plummet, competitors Miller Lite and Coors Light have seen a boost in their numbers. Coors Light sales rose 13.3% over 2022 in the third week of April, while Miller Lite sales increased by 13.6%.
Bump Williams, founder, president, and CEO of Bump Williams Consulting, notes that Bud Light had $4.8 billion in sales in 2022, significantly ahead of second-place Modelo Especial at $3.75 billion. However, without a dramatic change, Williams believes Bud Light risks losing its No. 1 position by the end of 2023.
Williams cites two primary mistakes by Anheuser-Busch marketing vice president Alissa Gordon Heinerscheid, who is currently on leave. Firstly, she moved away from the core Bud Light customers, and secondly, her tone was perceived as derogatory, insulting, and juvenile. This misunderstanding of the core customer base has led to a sense of disillusionment among Bud Light drinkers.
Williams does not hold high hopes for the company’s ability to recover, stating that their “compass is completely broken” and that there appears to be no clear game plan.
In certain areas, the decline in Bud Light sales has been even more drastic. For example, in the New York City area, Bud Light sales at grocery chain Stew Leonard’s have dropped by 50%. In contrast, Coors Light sales have seen a 50% increase, according to Andrew Hollis, Stew Leonard’s director of grocery. This marks the first time Coors Light has outsold Bud Light since the controversy over the partnership with Mulvaney.