Modelo Especial Beer held at Brooklyn Borough in New York, USA on Tuesday, November 23, 2021.
Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Bud Light lost its top spot in the U.S. beer market last month the brand’s sales fell following the conservative uproar over her partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Constellation BrandsModelo led the market, capturing 8.4% of retail beer sales in the four weeks ended June 3, according to NielsenIQ data from consulting firm Bump Williams. Bud Light finished with a 7.3% share.
Bud Light sales fell 24.6% year over year, while Modelo sales jumped 10.2%, the data show.
Yet, Anheuser-Busch InBev According to Bump Williams, the Bud Light brand is leading the sale of beer in the US so far this year.
The crackdown on AB InBev’s business is one of the few times in recent years that online backlash has led to a major brand’s significant and sustained decline. The company’s stock has fallen nearly 15% since Mulvaney posted a video of a personalized Bud Light can in early April, sparking anti-LGBTQ+ outrage.
In response to the uproar, the company appeared neither to defend the promotion with Mulvaney — a hesitancy that angered some trans rights advocates — nor to mollify conservatives who opposed the marketing.
“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over beer,” said Brendan Whitworth, CEO of Anheuser-Busch. statement in April.
The Bud Light boycott comes as state and federal politicians increasingly seek to reclaim the rights of trans people. Hundreds of state laws have targeted trans Americans in recent months, further burdening members of an already marginalized group.
The inclusion and marketing of trans Americans, and LGBTQ+ people more generally, has become more common among major companies in recent years. However, the increasingly aggressive response to these campaigns appears to be limiting them, at least in some cases.
target recently pulled some Pride month merchandise following isolated incidents of customers threatening staff over Pride items. And the union representing Starbucks baristas have requested staff at dozens of stores this week they were not allowed to place Pride decorations.
Last month, a Target spokesperson said the retailer had “experienced threats affecting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being at work” and would remove unspecified “items that were at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”
The spokesperson added that Target will focus on “moving forward with our ongoing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and we stand with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.”
Starbucks said in a statement that it has not changed the company’s policy on decorations and encourages stores to celebrate Pride Month.