Super Bowl Sunday Bud Light Sales See Major Decline

Struggling beer brand sees its sales drop by 50 percent over last year’s total.
Super Bowl Sunday Bud Light Sales See Major Decline
Bud Light, made by Anheuser-Busch, on a store shelf in Miami, Fla., on July 27, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

While Super Bowl Sunday beer sales jumped overall, Bud Light saw sales drop by about half, according to an analytics firm.

Beer drinkers apparently still are boycotting the brand months after it became embroiled in a controversy involving a transgender social media influencer.

A report issued by hospitality engagement platform Union found that bar and other on-premise sales of beer jumped by 16 percent on Sunday, Feb. 11, compared to a typical day’s worth of sales. Beer also saw a 10 percent increase from 2023’s Super Bowl Sunday sales, reported Fox News and other news outlets.

Corona, owned by New York’s Constellation Brands, was the top-selling beer this year, while Michelob Ultra, owned by Anheuser-Busch, also had strong sales.

In 2023, Bud Light was the top-selling brand during the Super Bowl, the report noted. But during 2024’s game day, the brand had a sales drop of 50 percent.

In April 2023, the company released a promotion for that year’s March Madness college basketball tournament that involved Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender activist and influencer who released a personalized beer can on social media.

The backlash was swift, with some conservative influencers and musicians calling for a boycott. For many consecutive months, Bud Light has seen a decline in sales and was overtaken by Modelo, owned by Constellation.

Anheuser-Busch made multiple changes to its marketing team and reportedly fired two top executives. The brand also began partnering with well-known NFL figures such as current Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce, Hall-of-Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, and Emmitt Smith, the Dallas Cowboys legend.

Bud Light also partnered with the UFC, the mixed martial arts promotion, last year and became its “official beer” sponsor.

‘A Second Chance’

Earlier this month, meanwhile, former President Donald Trump wrote on Truth Social to give Bud Light “a second chance,” while calling the transgender influencer posts a “mistake of epic proportions.”
Despite the advertising blitz, last month’s data suggest that the brand has seen a nearly 30 percent year-over-year sales decline, according to Bump Williams Consulting, which analyzed NielsenIQ data.
Anson Frericks, a former Anheuser-Busch executive and public critic of the company, told Fox Business that the brand will continue to struggle if it doesn’t apologize for the Mulvaney promotion.

“They haven’t done a good job of climbing out of this ditch at all. You still have sales that are down 30% week over week, and that’s despite them last summer spending three times their planned marketing budget on Bud Light,” Mr. Frericks said earlier this month.

“The biggest problem is that they’ve lost trust with their customers and they still haven’t gone out and personally asked for their customers to come back to them,” he added. “And until they restore that trust, I don’t think this brand is going to turn around and get back to growth anytime soon.”

Many consumers, the former executive said, “are asking for Bud Light to apologize when they called their consumers ”fratty and out-of-touch,” referring to a former Bud Light executive’s comments last year.

“Secondarily, you build trust with authenticity,” he continued. “Bud Light was loved because it was a brand that was apolitical, was drawn by Democrats or Republicans alike … it was that Super Bowl commercial, but they lost that authenticity.”

In response to the controversy last year, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev said that there was no Mulvaney advertisement campaign and that only “one can” of beer was produced with the influencer’s face on it.

He also claimed that social media “misinformation” was, in part, driving the decline in sales and he re-asserted the ad message that Bud Light is “easy to drink, easy to enjoy.”
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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