Anheuser-Busch will launch camouflage and motorcycle-themed beer can redesigns for Bud Light and Budweiser as the multinational conglomerate reels from its recent partnership with self-identified transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
One unnamed executive from the company informed the New York Post on Tuesday that the firm will produce a camouflage Bud Light can as part of an initiative that offers educational scholarships to family members of fallen American military service members and first responders. “It’s an aluminum bottle,” the source told the outlet. “I believe it is the only package that will be transitioning, but I am not 100% certain on that.”
Budweiser, another brand owned by Anheuser-Busch, shared two images on Tuesday and Wednesday of a limited edition beer can featuring patterns inspired by motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson. One of the posts announced that the product will be available in stores nationwide.
Bud Light garnered backlash last month when executives sent Mulvaney, a man who claims to be a woman and documented his purported gender transition online, a custom beer can bearing his image. Executives have downplayed the extent of the partnership and even hired veteran Republican lobbyists in efforts to win back conservatives who once consumed the brew.
Recent data from Bump Williams Consulting and NielsenIQ indicate that sales for Bud Light declined 23.6% in the week ended May 6 in comparison to the same period last year, a more severe outcome than the 23.3% decline witnessed for the week ended April 29.
Budweiser sales have respectively fallen 11.4% and 9.7% in the weeks that ended April 29 and May 6, Michelob Ultra sales have declined 4.3% and 2.9%, and Natural Light sales have declined 5.2% and 2.5%. Bump Williams, the chief executive of the consulting firm, told the New York Post that the sales hit for Bud Light has “started to settle” in the negative 20% range and contended that the typical drinker is merely “waiting for a genuine and sincere apology.”
Anheuser-Busch nevertheless appears to have offended those on both ends of the political spectrum: beyond the conservative backlash, leftists threatened to launch additional boycotts after the firm backed away from Mulvaney. Proponents of the LGBTQ movement were likewise not impressed by the camouflage redesign: Pink News, an outlet that adheres to the ideology, asserted that the new campaign was only meant to appease “fragile bigots.”
Anheuser-Busch may soon be mired in controversy alongside Miller Lite, which sponsored an expletive-filled advertisement that slammed the beverage industry’s past marketing campaigns which revolved around objectifying women, instead promising to donate fertilizer so that female brewers could grow hops. After social media users vented frustration over the advertisement and the brand’s nods to intersectionality, a spokesperson for Molson Coors, the multinational firm which owns Miller Lite, told media outlets that customers should “appreciate the humor” of the advertisement and insisted that nothing in the campaign should be seen as controversial.
Molson Coors and Anheuser-Busch each endorse transgender ideology, but commit in their sustainability reports to improve female career prospects. The Daily Wire asked Molson Coors how the company defines the word “woman,” but has not received a response.