A significant portion of beer distributors believe the ongoing consumer boycott against Bud Light could permanently damage the brand, two new surveys found.
A survey by investment firm Jefferies Group found that 65% of beer distributors expect the Bud Light boycott to continue for six more months and another 32% think it could be permanent, according to Brewbound, a beer industry publication. (RELATED: Bud Light Bloodbath Drops Anheuser-Busch Stock Into Bear Market Territory)
For those keeping score at home, I published a list of the biggest brands conservatives are boycotting right now @DailyCaller
Expect the list to keep growing with all of the LGBT activism happening in June: https://t.co/95EsH97w9U
— James Lynch (@jameslynch32) May 31, 2023
A separate distributor survey by Goldman Sachs showed most respondents do not believe Bud Light will make a “full recovery” in its “brand equity and market share,” Brewbound reported. Goldman’s survey was taken with 57 distributors who serve 200,000 retail outlets.
The distributors who say Bud Light will make a turnaround believe it will take three to five years to rebuild the brand. Almost two-thirds of beer distributors said Anheuser-Busch sales volumes were down on Memorial Day and 62% said inventories are significantly higher in Goldman’s survey.
Conservatives began boycotting Bud Light at the start of April after the iconic brand entered an advertising partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The social media star posted multiple videos on April 1 promoting Bud Light and received customized beer cans to celebrate “365 days of girlhood” with fans.
In response to the videos, conservatives accused Bud Light of betraying its customer base by promoting transgender ideology. Mulvaney is a biological male who identifies as a transgender woman and previously promoted transgender procedures for minors in an October 2022 interview with President Joe Biden.
The boycott gained further steam because of an unearthed video showing Bud Light marketing executive Alissa Heinerscheid trashing the brand’s “fratty” and “out of touch” image. Heinerscheid and another marketing executive were later placed on leave because of the Mulvaney partnership. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Social Media Pics From Bud Light Ad Exec Who Slammed ‘Fratty’ Culture Seem Pretty Fratty)
Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris downplayed the Mulvaney advertisements in a May 4 earnings call with investors. “We need to clarify the facts that this was one camp, one influencer, one post and not a campaign,” he said.
Anheuser-Busch stock has dropped by roughly 20% and Bud Light’s sales have dropped for six straight week since the boycott began, per the New York Post. Bud Light sales plunged 25.7% in the week ending May 20 and its total number of beers sold went down 29.5% compared to last year, according to Newsweek.