Anheuser-Busch Takes Yet Another Hit In Wake of Bud Light 'Trans' Partnership

Anheuser-Busch Takes Yet Another Hit In Wake of Bud Light 'Trans' Partnership

Anheuser-Busch got some more bad news this week after one of its brands, Bud Light, made the decision to briefly partner with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney, a biological male who identifies as a woman.

“HSBC has downgraded Anheuser-Busch InBev stock to hold amid a ‘crisis’ following Bud Light’s marketing campaign featuring” Mulvaney, Fox Business reported Thursday.

Carlos Laboy, managing director at HSBC’s global beverage sector, told CNBC there are “deeper problems than ABI admits” following the shortlived but highly controversial partnership.

“Is ABI’s leadership getting the brand culture transformation right? It’s mixed,” Laboy wrote Wednesday in a note.

“At Ambev, we think the answer is ‘yes;’ in the US, we think it’s ‘no.’ The way this Bud Light crisis came about a month ago, management’s response to it and the loss of unprecedented volume and brand relevance raises many questions,” Laboy continued.

According to Laboy, a Beer Marketer’s Insights note highlighted a potential decline in beer sales, possibly exceeding 25%, during the month of April.

“Why did its US leadership underestimate the risk of pushback given the recent experience of other firms? Is A-B hiring the best people to grow the brands and gauge risk?” the analyst asked. “If Budweiser and Bud Light are iconic American ideas that have long brought consumers together, why did these marketers fail to invite new consumers without alienating the core base of the firm’s largest brand?”

Ambev is a Brazilian brewery also owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, Fox Business added.

During the initial three weeks of April, sales of Bud Light in the United States plummeted to a level that represented just 1% of the company’s global volume for that specific time frame.

Retail store sales of Bud Light experienced a significant decline of 21.4% during the week ending April 22, in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year. Conversely, Coors Light and Miller Lite observed a notable sales growth of nearly 21% during the same timeframe, as per an analysis of Nielsen data conducted by Bump Williams Consulting, the outlet reported.

“This situation has impacted our people and especially our frontline workers: the delivery drivers; sales representatives; our wholesalers; Bud owners; and servers,” AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris said recently on an earnings call.


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