Bud Light’s sales are still floundering months after its disastrous partnership with transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney — and drinkers of America’s former top-selling beer are “just lost forever.”
“You see Bud Light still just stubbornly down around 30% in volume compared to last year, which is where it’s been since May or June,” Beer Business Daily publisher Harry Schuhmacher told Fox News Digital Friday.
“That tells me that this is quasi-permanent, meaning those consumers are just lost forever.”
Schuhmacher’s remarks come less than a month after it was revealed the Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned company had won back 15% of its boycotting drinkers.
Bud Light — which lost its top spot to Modelo after the controversy — is down 26.9% in dollars and 30.3% in volume, he said, citing a study by Bump Williams Consulting.The publisher believes it is “likely” the company will continue to see similar year-over-year declines for the “foreseeable future.”
“At least until April and May of 2024 when they lap the controversy,” Schuhmacher told Fox News Digital.
“I think the industry thought it would have rebounded by now, but it hasn’t,” he continued.
“It’s actually worse than just lost sales because now it’s getting to the point where it’s becoming systemic within the industry, and they’re losing the confidence of the retailers, and that’s when it starts getting bad.”
He believes next summer will be a big indicator for the brand’s long-term success as it works to regain its once-cult following.
He also thinks a “rough winter” is looming for Bud Light, whose only saving grace is the “wholesalers” connections.
“They’re somewhat powerless to fix it, except to remain really active in their local communities, which they’ve done and which they’ve always done. And really, that’s kind of the only saving grace for that brand is those local connections that the wholesalers have,” he told the outlet.
“We’ve never seen anything like this in the beer industry.”
The scandal exploded after Anheuser-Busch InBev sent Mulvaney a beer can with her face on it to celebrate her 365th day of girlhood — a popular TikTok series that catapulted the 26-year-old into the mainstream.
The March Madness partnership, which saw Mulvaney post an ad of her wearing a purple bikini in a bathtub surrounded by her favorite beer, instantly set off critics, including Kid Rock, who filmed himself shooting cans in protest.The former theater actor — who was invited to audition for the upcoming Broadway revival of “Cabaret” — called out the “extreme amount of transphobia and hate” she experienced since becoming an influencer.
“I know that my community is feeling it, and I know that even our allies are feeling it,” she said after winning Breakout Creator at last month’s Streamy Awards. “You need to support trans people publicly and proudly.
“I’m gonna go have a beer and…I love ya.”