Bud Light Loses No 1. Spot After Transgender Partnership

The month of May saw an unsurprising upheaval in the U.S. beer market as Bud Light, a longstanding fan-favorite until it partnered with transgender-identifying Dylan Mulvaney, experienced a significant sales decline, losing its crown as America’s top-selling beer.

A recent report by consumer behavior analytics firm Circana reveals a 23% sales drop for the Bud Light brand during the four weeks ending May 28.

The Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI)-owned beer brand brought in $297 million, a significant decrease from its sales for the same period in the previous year.

This turn of events saw Modelo Especial, a pilsner-style lager brewed in Mexico nearly a century ago, take the lead, according to a CBS report.

Circana data shows Modelo Especial saw a 15% rise in sales, totaling $333 million.

Contributing to Bud Light’s sales dip was a marketing fiasco involving TikTok influencer and trans rights activist Dylan Mulvaney.

This campaign was met with considerable disapproval, particularly from conservative figures like singers Kid Rock and Travis Tritt, who subsequently encouraged a boycott of Bud Light.

Attempting to dissociate itself from the controversial promotion, ABI unwittingly stoked further backlash, this time from the LGBTQ+ community.

The result was a noticeable drop in sales as several bars opted to remove all Anheuser-Busch products from their offerings.

ABI, as of Thursday, has not provided a response to these developments.

As Dave Williams, the vice president of analytics and insights at Bump Williams Consulting, warned, Bud Light’s sales woes might persist without “serious course correction.”

Despite its enduring popularity and impressive sales figures year-to-date, the brand’s secure hold on the number one spot is in jeopardy.

Per CBS, Circana’s May report lists the top-selling beer brands in the U.S. as follows:

  • Modelo Especial ($333.1 million)
  • Bud Light ($297.3 million)
  • Michelob Ultra ($267.6 million)
  • Coors Light ($241 million)
  • Miller Lite ($216.4 million)