It can be difficult to measure the impact of a marketing campaign, but Anheuser-Busch̵[ads1]7;s latest ads featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney appear to have had an impact on sales of its flagship Bud Light beer.
The brand’s controversial marketing collaboration, which sparked a backlash on social media, has apparently led to a drop in Bud Light store sales by an astonishing 17%, according to industry research.
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Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney, who has 10.8 million followers on TikTok, was intended to appeal to a young, broad audience of drinkers. But it also drew a huge amount of backlash based on the influencer’s gender identity. This led some fans of the beer to start a boycott to show their displeasure with the marketing decision.
The boycott may have been successful, based on recent data from NielsenIQ and Bump Williams Consulting cited by the Wall Street Journal. Bud Light store sales fell 17% in the week ending April 15 compared to the same period last year. The newspaper also reports that two managers who oversaw the collaboration have been put on leave.
If the boycott continues, the brand’s position as the best-selling beer in the country could be at risk. Rivals are already entering and taking market share.
Here are some of the competing beer brands that investors can bet on before the high summer season starts.
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Coors Light & Miller Light
Coors Light, the second most popular beer brand in America, appears to have taken market share from leading giant Bud Light. The data from NielsenIQ and Bump Williams Consulting published by the Wall Street Journal also revealed Coors Light sales rose 17.6% in the week ending April 15.
Miller Lite saw an increase in sales, also 17.6%, in the same week compared to last year.
Both brands are owned by the same company: Molson Coors Beverage Co. The Colorado-based brewing giant is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “TAP”. The stock is up 14.94% in the past month as the Bud Light debacle unfolded.
Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite dominate the light beer market. But smaller brands like Michelob Ultra also appear to be getting a boost from the Bud Light controversy. The brand saw dollar volumes rise 0.4% in the week ending April 15, according to industry news source Brewbound. The market share of the super premium segment rose 2.2% in the same week.
However, Michelob Ultra is owned by Anheuser-Busch. Some investors may see this as an opportunity to buy the depressed stock. Despite the recent decline, Anheuser-Busch Inbev (NYSE:BUD) shares are up 4.26% over the past month. It trades at just 22.55 times earnings per share and yields 1.26%.
Only 28% of the company’s revenue is generated in North America. That means it is better insulated from this controversy than most boycotters think. This could be the perfect opportunity for a contrarian investor.
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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is supplied without warranty of any kind.