In a recent report released by Union, the data-driven hospitality engagement platform equipped with a point-of-sales system utilized in bars and restaurants across the nation, a significant revelation has come to light.
The report highlights Bud Light's rapid descent from its once exalted position as the top player in the market. The plummet occurred in the aftermath of a marketing controversy involving transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, that ignited a widespread boycott across the country.
The report said:
Sales of what was once America’s best-selling beer dropped 2.6 points from 11.3 percent dollar sales share to 8.73 percent at Union’s network of thousands of high-volume venues in the first week of the boycott alone.
That sales spiral continued throughout Q2 at Union venues as the boycott took a stronghold across the US, dropping 34 percentinsales share compared to the prior year, since the fallout began on April 1.
“Our on-premise ordering data shows that domestic beer brands are reaping the most benefits from the Bud Light fallout,” said Layne Cox, chief marketing officer at Union.
Cox said, “Modelo may have unseated Bud Light at retail, but at high-volume bars and restaurants, it’s a different story.”
In Q2 2023, Bud Light experienced a decline in on-premise rankings, slipping to the fourth position. The new top three beers at Union during this period were Miller Lite (No. 1), Michelob Ultra (No. 2), and Coors Light (No. 3). These three brands made substantial progress within just three months, benefiting from Bud Light's downturn and surpassing it in popularity. Michelob Ultra, also owned by AB InBev, managed to maintain its second-place ranking during this time.
Miller Lite experienced a significant gain of 20.7 percent, propelling the brand to the top spot in on-premise beer sales. Moreover, this growth allowed Miller Lite to secure a share of over 10 percent, bringing it closer to Bud Light's market share before the controversy affected Bud Light's sales.
Read the full report here.