Bud Light May Never Recover From The Controversy That Cost $400 Million In Lost US Sales – ‘They Want To Enjoy Their Beer Without A Debate,’ Anheuser-Busch CEO Says

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Bud Light may never recover from the ongoing controversy surrounding the brand, according to an anonymous beer distributor who spoke to the New York Post on July 31.

Many more Anheuser-Busch InBev distributors have resigned themselves to their painful Bud Light losses and have given up on luring customers back following the controversial ad campaign.

During the past few months, the company experienced hiring freezes and mass layoffs. Beer truck drivers face heckling and harassment. The revelation of Bud Light’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney in April resulted in a nearly 30% drop in sales compared to the previous year.

With continuous setbacks, a Texas-based distributor argued that numerous consumers may never return to Bud Light. The executive stated that consumers have made their choice and are unlikely to come back, as they have switched to similar products from other brands like Coors Light and Miller Lite, attributing the decision to marketing strategies.

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Various executives expressed similar concerns about Bud Light’s recovery prospects and criticized the company’s marketing “mistake” that alienated its customer base. There is a growing belief that the decline in Bud Light’s sales may persist, causing distributors to worry about losing customers to rival brands.

In the wake of Bud Light’s decline, Modelo Especial has taken over as the top-selling beer in the country for two consecutive months. This marks the first time since 2001 that Bud Light has not held the top spot, with executives predicting this trend to continue through August.

Parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev stated that sales to U.S. retailers declined by 14%, primarily because of a drop in Bud Light’s volume, underperforming the broader beer industry.

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North American revenue also suffered a decline of about $400 million during the period compared to the same time last year. To mitigate the brand damage, the company has offered financial support to its wholesalers from June through December. Although its share of the U.S. beer market fell during the second quarter, the company reported some stabilization between late April and June.

AB InBev aims to rebuild the brand and win back consumers, as mentioned during a Wall Street analyst call discussing second-quarter results.

During the call, CEO Michel Doukeris acknowledged that the controversy had struck a nerve with customers.

“People, basically, they want to enjoy their beer without the debate,” he said.

Along with plummeting sales and a declining market value, the company could also face some legal ramifications. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested the state could take legal action against Anheuser-Busch over the tie-in with Mulvaney, indicating that the controversy had hurt the value of its holdings.

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This article Bud Light May Never Recover From The Controversy That Cost $400 Million In Lost US Sales – ‘They Want To Enjoy Their Beer Without A Debate,’ Anheuser-Busch CEO Says originally appeared on Benzinga.com

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