Bud Light Is No Longer America’s Top-Selling Beer

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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Bud Light is no longer America’s top-selling beer because of the ongoing boycott against the brand for its advertising partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, data cited by Newsweek shows.

Modelo Especial surpassed Bud Light as the nation’s number-one beer at the end of May, according to Circana/IRI sales data obtained by Newsweek. Modelo sales reached $333 million in the four weeks ending May 28, a 15.6% increase from the same period in 2022, compared with Bud Light’s $297 million, a 22.8% fall.

The Mexican brand’s sales hit roughly $341.9 million in the week ending May 27, compared with approximately $298.6 million for Bud Light, Bump Williams Consulting data cited by the outlet found. Bud Light still leads Modelo in 2023 sales with 9.1% of the total market value, compared with 8% for Modelo.

Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch owns Modelo’s international operations, but rival beverage conglomerate Constellation Brands operates its U.S. division as a result of a 2013 antitrust settlement by the Department of Justice. (RELATED: Some Beer Distributors Believe Bud Light Boycott Could Be Permanent, Surveys Say)

Bud Light sales began dropping at the start of April, when conservatives started boycotting the brand in response to its advertising campaign with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The social media personality posted videos promoting Bud Light on April 1 and received customized beer cans from the brand to celebrate Mulvaney’s “365 days of girlhood” with fans.

Conservatives reacted to Mulvaney’s videos by accusing Bud Light of disrespecting its customer base by promoting transgender ideology. A biological male, Mulvaney previously advocated for transgender procedures for minors in an October 2022 interview with President Joe Biden.

The boycott intensified when unearthed video footage showed Bud Light marketing executive Alissa Heinerscheid trashing the brand’s “fratty” and “out of touch” image. Heinerscheid and another marketing executive took leaves of absence in late April because of the Mulvaney backlash. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Social Media Pics From Bud Light Ad Exec Who Slammed ‘Fratty’ Culture Seem Pretty Fratty)

Anheuser-Busch’s stock is down roughly 20% since the end of March and its market capitalization dropped by an estimated $26 billion since the boycott began. Sales of Bud Light have plunged for six straight weeks after the boycott started, including a 25.7% drop in the week ending May 20, the New York Post reported.

Nearly two-thirds of beer distributors, 65%, believe the Bud Light boycott will last for another six months, a survey from Jefferies financial firm found, according to industry publication Brewbound. Another 32% of distributors predicted the boycott could be permanent.