Beer sales in the US are expected to plunge to their lowest level since 1999 — largely due to Bud Light’s massive falloff after its disastrous tie-up with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, industry experts said.
Sales declined by more than 5% in the first nine months of the year, dragged down not only by the backlash and boycotts against Anheuser-Busch-owned Bud Light but the changing habits of younger drinkers, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.
Bud Light sales have steadily declined each month by 25% to 30% since Mulvaney’s now-infamous posts touting the brand on April 1, according to industry data.
The Mulvaney fiasco unseated Bud Light as the No. 1- selling beer in the US after two decades of dominance.
While other beers grabbed some of Bud Light’s market share — with Constellation Brands’ Modelo unseating Bud Light and Molson Coors’ brands Coors Light and Miller Lite seeing upticks — their growth did not make up for Anheuser-Busch’s declines.
“This year in particular AB is driving the decline in the industry,” David Steinman, vice president and executive editor of the publication, told The Post. Anheuser-Busch-owned brands, which include Budweiser, Michelob Ultra and Busch, have also been hurt by the boycotts and represent 35% of all beer shipments to wholesalers in the US. Meanwhile, Molson Coors’ and Constellations’ growth accounted for just 30% of Anheuser-Busch’s losses, according to Steinman.
Bud Light’s woes show little sign of abating despite a renewed marketing push targeting its traditional male audience — including a recent commercial featuring NFL legends Peyton Manning and Emmitt Smith.
For the four weeks ended Dec. 9, Bud Light’s retail store sales were down 28% compared with the same period a year ago, according to a Wall Street Journal report, citing data from NielsenIQ and Bump Williams Consulting.
Overall beer sales have also been hit as millennials and Gen-Zers ditch the brews for other alcohol-infused products like canned cocktails or simply drink less than previous generations.Sales of craft beer, which emerged as a huge growth engine in the late ’90s, have also been down for three of the past four years, according to Steinman.
“This is an industry-wide, five-alarm fire,” Craig Purser, president of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, said in a speech to wholesalers at a convention in October, according to the Wall Street Journal report.