The decade's most triggering comedy
Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch announced in a Tuesday report that revenue in the U.S. was down 13.5% for the third quarter, continuing a trend in declining sales after Bud Light partnered earlier this year with transgender-identifying influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
According to Anheuser-Busch, the decline in sales was “primarily due to the volume decline of Bud Light and impacted by shipment phasing ahead of our October price increase last year.”
In addition to declining revenue, Anheuser-Busch said that sales volume in the third quarter declined 17.1% in North America. Despite the decline in sales volume and revenue in the U.S., Anheuser-Busch revenue did rise globally, increasing 5% to $15.6 billion.
“Our mainstream portfolio delivered a mid-single-digit revenue increase as double-digit growth in South Africa, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic was partially offset by the revenue decline of Bud Light in the U.S.,” the report from Anheuser-Busch said. “Our mainstream brands gained or maintained share of segment in the majority of our key markets, according to our estimates.”
The U.S. Neilson data compiled by Bump Williams Consulting shows that revenue is down almost 19% on the year and 29% in the four weeks ending October 21 compared to this time last year, according to Fortune.
Sales of Bud Light plummeted following the partnership with Mulvaney, a man who identifies as a woman, as conservatives urged customers to avoid buying the beverage. Mulvaney has claimed that he was abandoned by Bud Light following the backlash to the “March Madness” themed partnership
“If you’re going to ask us to capitalize on our vulnerabilities and our traumas, at least have our backs when the going gets tough,” Mulvaney told Seth Matlins, managing director of the Forbes CMO Network, at the 2023 Forbes CMO Summit in Miami.
In the first week of the controversy, Bud Light sales decreased 11%, and its stock plunged 20% by the beginning of June. Sales drops persisted over the summer as the boycott kept going strong.
Anheuser-Busch tried to soothe ruffled feathers with CEO Brendan Whitworth telling customers in mid-April, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” and “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”