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    HomeBusinessBud Light distributors in the Heartland and the South are 'spooked'

    Bud Light distributors in the Heartland and the South are ‘spooked’

    By Neirin Gray Desai For Dailymail.Com

    00:58 11 Apr 2023, updated 01:54 11 Apr 2023

    • Initial data indicates Bud Light sales were down and wholesalers are concerned 
    • Easter weekend disrupted consumer patterns, making it harder to spot trends
    • A video went viral in which a man claiming to be a Bud Light merchandiser complained of low sales

    Bud Light sales have plunged and its distributors in the Midwest, the South, and rural areas are ‘spooked’ by backlash after the company partnered with trans TikToker Dylan Mulvaney.

    Distributors for Anheuser-Busch products, the company that owns Bud Light, have reported dwindling sales over the weekend, according to a report from trade publication Beer Business Daily.

    It comes as a video of a man claiming to be a merchandiser for an A-B affiliate went viral on Twitter as he lamented poor sales and the impact on his livelihood.

    ‘I’ve never seen such little sales as in the past few days,’ he said. ‘When people don’t buy this beer I don’t make money and I can’t feed my family,’ he said.

    The controversy arose when Mulvaney, 26, shared a on social media a can sent to her by Bud Light with her face on it. Objections emerged from conservatives, as well as musician Kid Rock, who shot cans of Bud Light in protest.

    A video of a man claiming to be a merchandiser for an A-B affiliate went viral on Twitter as he lamented poor sales and the impact on his livelihood

    Mulvaney’s April 2 Instagram post included her drinking a beer with her face printed on the can and lying in a bathtub knocking back Bud
    Mulvaney’s Instagram beer promotional

    Beer Business Daily wrote in its report that it sought to unpack the backlash by considering things purely form ‘a marketing and sales perspective’ and ‘ignoring the politics and social issues.’

    ‘By Thursday afternoon, we had reached out to a handful of A-B distributors who were spooked, most particularly in the Heartland and the South, and even then in their more rural areas,’ it published on Monday. 

    It specified that data was limited and that the Easter weekend had disrupted consumer patterns, making it harder to spot trends.

    ‘With the very limited data from a handful of wholesalers, it appears likely Bud Light took a volume hit in some markets over the holiday weekend, particularly in rural areas, which consist of their higher share markets,’ it published.  

    Anheuser-Busch distributors in the US are split between ‘blue silver’ distributors, that stock MillerCoors products, and ‘red’ distributors which deal in InBev products, the parent to Budweiser and Bud Light.

    ‘Blue-silver distributors were said to be reaching ‘record high sales’, while the publication received anecdotes of a ‘sea of blue and red [Budweiser and Bud Light] remaining untouched in cold boxes.’

    It clarified that is was not clear to what extent that was a result of Easter or the backlash. The controversy also coincided with the launch of Yeungling in Missouri, which was first announced earlier this year.

    ‘Timing couldn’t be better for the Yuengling launch,’ one wholesaler told Beer Business Daily.

    Pictured is the Bud Light can featuring Mulvaney’s face and which prompted the controversy
    Anheuser-Busch wholesalers across the Midwest and the South were said to have been the worst affected. Pictured is a map indicating the number of wholesaler locations in different regions of the country

    It was also mentioned that the marketing strategy could pay off for A-B in the long run if sales are boosted to those that view the partnership favorably.

    ‘Trying to appeal to the sensitivities of a new generation of drinkers without alienating your old core constituency is like herding cats (and dogs, and chickens), particularly with a large and iconic brand such as Bud Light,’ the report read.

    ‘A-B can hope that, with the surprising amount of publicity this has garnered, Bud Light gains consideration among Gen Z, who before now we all must admit wouldn’t touch the brand with a barge pole. And that is, after all, A-B’s stated strategy,’ it added.

    At the moment the full consequences of the partnership are yet to become clear. ‘Whether it lasts or whether the publicity sparks incremental off-setting demand from over the ideological divide in metro areas, remains to be seen.’



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