Bud Light Boycott Over Transgender Ambassador Cost Anheuser-Busch InBev Over $1 Billion Loss

By Thea Felicity

Feb 29, 2024 02:00 PM EST

Budweiser And Bud Light Losing Market Share In U.S. As Craft Beer Continues Gain In Popularity
(Photo : Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 26: A six pack of Bud Light sits on a shelf for sale at a convenience store, July 26, 2018 in New York City. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewer behind Budweiser and Bud Light, said on Thursday that U.S. revenues fell 3.1% in the second quarter. American consumers continue to shift away from domestic lagers and toward crafts beers and wine and spirits.

World's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev faced a significant setback this year as they are set to potentially lose up to $1.4 billion in sales due to backlash from a brief collaboration with a transgender influencer to promote Bud Light beer. 

According to Market Watch, the company reported -33% decline in Q4 alone of 2023-with its U.S. business further hampered by declining Bud Light sales following the boycott triggered by an Instagram post featuring Dylan Mulvaney. 

The decline in Bud Light sales, a major revenue driver, contributed to a $1.4 billion drop in organic revenue in North America.

This loss in organic revenue, which is considered the best measure of operating performance, reflects a substantial decrease in beer sales by volume in the region, primarily attributed to weakened Bud Light sales in the United States.

READ NEXT: Donald Trump Rushed to Bud Light's Defense as a Lobbyist From Its Parent Company Set to Host Fundraiser for Him

The backlash against the partnership with Mulvaney, which occurred in April, sparked an anti-trans backlash and calls for a boycott. Despite efforts to address the controversy, including reaching an agreement with the Teamsters union to avert a strike of 5,000 workers, challenges persist for Anheuser-Busch InBev.

In addition to the decline in North American sales, shares in Anheuser-Busch InBev's Asia business, Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, closed nearly 7% lower in Hong Kong, as detailed by ABC 12.

This decline was attributed to a decrease in profits attributable to shareholders due to a one-off customs charge in South Korea. 

Furthermore, overall sales volumes in China fell in the fourth quarter despite double-digit growth in sales of premium brands.

Interestingly-although sales were weak for Bud Light, it remains a relevant topic in the republican sphere. In fact, even after encouraging his followers to boycott, VCPost reported that Trump came to Bud Light's defense earlier this year.

The full annual report of Anheuser-Busch InBev can be found here.

READ MORE: Donald Trump-Linked Media Company Is Nearing a $50 Million Financing Deal: Report

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