Bud Light Is Sharply Plummeting In Popularity—Here's Why
Bud Light's sales are down, customers are reportedly defecting to other brands, and an industry expert says that demand for the once-favored beer has "plummeted" in recent months. Unaware consumers witnessing such a dramatic shift in the beer's popularity might suspect that it's because Bud Light has either dropped in quality or skyrocketed in price, but the reason for this massive decline can actually be traced back to a short Instagram video and a contentious collaboration.
In early April, transgender influencer and activist Dylan Mulvaney posted a video on Instagram promoting a Bud Light giveaway for March Madness. She also shared that the brand sent over a personalized can with her face on it to celebrate her 365-day milestone of womanhood. Bud Light and Mulvaney–who has been no stranger to public vitriol as she rose in popularity over the past year while documenting her transition to womanhood–both quickly became the target of intense public backlash due to the video.
Country rock artist Kid Rock filmed himself shooting several cases of Bud Light with a gun mere days after Mulvaney posted the video. A fellow critic shared a photo of Bud Light cases at a Walmart priced at a surprisingly low $1.78 on Twitter today.
Other conservative commentators and politicians have also sharply condemned the collaboration, accusing Bud Light of becoming too "woke" and calling for a boycott that actually seems to be working, at least for the time being.
Bud Light sales dropped 23% in May, CBS reported this week, citing consumer behavior data analytics firm Circana. The brand also no longer holds the crown as the best-selling beer in the United States after being overtaken by Modelo Especial.
Catarina Tucker, the founder of mobile bartending company Barnastics, has had a front-row seat to this decline in Bud Light's popularity. She told Fox News Digital this week that demand for the beer has "plummeted completely" amid the controversy with Mulvaney.
"No one wants it at their event anymore," Tucker said. "There are a couple clients that have expressed to me their feelings behind it, and it's no longer popular."
Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch has been largely silent on the backlash aside from an April statement in which CEO Brendan Whitworth said the company "never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people." Unfortunately for the brand, Tucker doesn't anticipate that its popularity woes will ease up any time soon. She noted that while "sometimes things blow over," Bud Light's actions "hold a lot of weight" with consumers.
Anheuser-Busch did not immediately respond to our requests for further comment on the controversy and Tucker's claims about the drop in Bud Light's popularity.