In a surprising turn of events, Bud Light, the world’s leading beer brand, faced its worst week ever with a staggering 25.7% decline in sales, raising concerns about its position in the market.
This downward trend marks the sixth consecutive week of declining sales since influencer Dylan Mulvaney endorsed Bud Light on April 1. The prior week had already seen a 24.6% drop in sales.
During the week ending on May 20th, sales of Modelo Especial experienced a notable increase of 9.2%, while Bud Light’s sales plummeted significantly, as reported by Bump Williams Consulting and NielsonIQ.
The CEO of the consulting firm stated, “While Bud Light continues to suffer week after week, Modelo Especial consistently gains market share, outselling Bud Light across all trade channels on a national level.” He further added that if this pattern persists, “Modelo will surpass Bud Light in annual sales.”
Both Bud Light and Modelo Especial are owned by InBev. However, in the United States, Modelo falls under the authority of Constellation Brands, a multinational company based in New York.
Despite the significance of Modelo’s success, industry expert Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketer’s Insights, believes that its current momentum may not be sustainable. Nevertheless, he acknowledged Constellation’s ambition to become the top beer brand.
The numbers speak for themselves, with Bud Light experiencing a drastic 24.3% decline in sales during the four weeks leading up to May 20th, while Modelo witnessed an 8.0% increase within the same period.
“This is a substantial fall,” commented Williams in an interview with The Post. After its introduction in 1982, Modelo has finally surpassed Bud Light in terms of sales.
The controversy surrounding Mulvaney’s endorsement, including her viral bubble bath photos and videos with the hashtag #budlightpartner, has had a significant impact on Bud Light’s stock.
The negative response has also affected sales of other Anheuser-Busch beverages. Data from the week ending May 20th reveals an 11.2% decline in Budweiser sales, a 6.5% drop for Michelob Ultra, a 5.2% decrease for Busch Light, and a 4.9% decrease for Natural Light.
Notably, other breweries have capitalized on Bud Light’s decline. Yuengling, known as “America’s Oldest Brewery,” experienced a remarkable 47.6% increase in sales for Yuengling Flight and a 32.1% increase for its lager during the four weeks leading to May 20th.
While Yuengling is headquartered in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, it only has three breweries, two in Pennsylvania and one in Tampa, Florida. Williams noted, “Yuengling is enjoying a moment of success with the highest growth among all premium beers.”
Furthermore, since the Mulvaney controversy, Coors Light, Miller Light, and Pabst Blue Ribbon have all seen double-digit increases in sales.
Williams’s survey of local businesses revealed lackluster demand for Bud Light over the crucial Memorial Day weekend, which traditionally marks the start of the summer beer shopping season.
According to Beer Business Daily, one store is offering a 24-pack of Bud Light for a meager $3.49, indicating the struggling demand for the brand.