Bud Light sales have plunged 26 percent compared to this time last year amid backlash from its customers over the woke marketing pitch
Now it’s been revealed that the brewer has told its wholesalers that it will buy back unsold cases of beer that have gone past their expiration date
Bud Light also plans to overhaul its branding with support for veterans, and focusing ads on all-American themes like football and country music
Anheuser Busch has offered to buy back cases of unsold Bud Light that went unsold after the brewer’s disastrous partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Bud Light sales have plunged 26 percent compared to this time last year amid backlash from its customers over the woke marketing pitch.
Now it’s been revealed by The Wall Street Journal that the brewer has told its wholesalers that it will buy back unsold cases of beer that have gone past their expiration date.
Bud Light also plans a branding revamp, aligning Bud Light with the company’s sponsorship of a veterans organization. The beer will also overhaul its advertising to focus on the all-American themes of football and country music.
It comes after the brand’s marketing chief Alissa Heinerscheid said she planned to update the ‘fratty’ and ‘out of touch’ branding. Heinerscheid has reportedly taken a leave of absence following the Mulvaney debacle.
Industry analysts have warned that unless something drastic changes, the negative volume trends will continue into the summer months as a result of the beer brand’s partnership with the transgender influencer.
For the week ending May 6, in-store sales of Bud Light across the US were down 23.6 percent compared to the year before. And the week before that, ending April 29, sales dropped by 23.3 percent.
This follows declines in sales for the week ending April 22, which were at 21.4 percent. And seven days earlier, the dip was 17 percent, according to NielsenIQ data provided to Dailymail.com by Bump Williams Consultancy.
The data – showing that US sales are dropping by as much as 20 percent each week – has since been described by industry experts as ‘bad.’
Bump Williams from Bump Williams Consultancy told DailyMail.com: ‘I don’t think the declines in sales/volume will get any worse, but I do think their negative volume trends will continue.’
He said sales dipping by 20 percent seems to be the new ‘norm’ for Bud Light.
But he added that experts are waiting to see what will happen to sales over Memorial Day and summer selling season to assess if the damage will continue. Williams, who specializes in the alcohol industry, told the St Louis Business Journal: ‘This seems to be where the brand’s weekly declines have started to settle, falling in that -20 percent range over the past few week.
‘I wonder if this is going to be the ‘floor’ for expected Bud Light declines moving forward unless something drastic changes.’
Anheuser-Busch has been contacted for comment.
Meanwhile, at a CVS in West Palm Beach, Florida, attempting to shift some of its Bud Light stock shelves were fully stocked with multipacks of the beers.
Onlookers joked that no one wanted to buy the alcohol following the scandal.
Another person said that after driving around different stores and gas stations in Mississippi, they saw an overflow of Bud products because ‘no one is buying it.’
Williams previously said that Bud Light must apologize and added: ‘Right now their compass is completely broken. There’s no game plan.’
Williams said that without a clear plan to navigate the backlash and turn around the decline in sales, ‘Bud Light is in serious trouble this year’. He said the brand is still the biggest-selling in America, but risks being overtaken by Modelo Especial by the end of the year if the backlash continues. His assessment comes after another PR expert told DailyMail.com that Bud Light must properly address the issue or ‘they’re only going to further hurt themselves’.
Bud’s current responses have been mealy-mouthed explanations of the Mulvaney partnership without a concrete apology to angry customers.
Data from Beer Business Daily showed that sales of the US’s number one brand has fallen in every region of the country.
Sales in the Rocky Mountain states dipped the most significantly, down by 29 percent, with the South Atlantic, West North Central and East South Central all dropping 25 percent.
The Tumbleweed, a cowboy bar in Wyoming, ditched Bud Light after the controversy – instead plumping for Guinness.
Sales in the East North Central area – which includes Michigan and Illinois, both of which have seen a backlash against the beer – were down 23.5 percent in the week ending April 22.
It comes as analysts at HSBC have downgraded Anheuser-Busch’s stock because it is in the midst of a ‘crisis’ over the marketing blunder.