Once the most popular beer in the US, Bud Light is now selling for less than water in some American warehouses.
Andy Wagner, the manager and 18-year veteran of Glenn Miller’s Beer & Soda Warehouse in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania told the New York Times that a 30-pack of Miller Lite was selling for $24.99, while a 30-pack of Bud Light was priced at $8.99 after a rebate.
“At this point, it’s cheaper than some of the cases of water we’re selling in the back,” Wagner said. “It’s just not moving like it used to.”
“It’s not that they stopped drinking beer,” he added. “They just stopped buying Bud Light.” He said Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch broke the “bar rules,” meaning “no politics, no religion.”
A collaboration in the spring between transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney and Bud Light has led to backlash from consumers, with some stores being forced to give away the beer for free and Bud Light buying back expired beers from wholesalers, according to The Wall Street Journal.
On social media, Mulvaney showed off cans of Bud Light sent by Anheuser-Busch that featured the influencer’s face, celebrating a milestone in her viral “365 Days of Girlhood” series where the influencer detailing her daily experiences in her first year identifying as a transgender woman on TikTok.
In the wake of the boycott, Bud Light‘s marketing VP, Alissa Heinerscheid, aired her thoughts on the brand’s consumers, explaining that what she brought to the brand was a “belief” that to evolve and elevate means to incorporate “inclusivity, it means shifting the tone, it means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive, and feels lighter and brighter and different, and appeals to women and to men.”
Heinerscheid suggested that “representation is sort of at the heart of evolution, you have got to see people who reflect you in the work.”
“We had this hangover, I mean Bud Light had been kind of a brand of fratty, kind of out of touch humor, and it was really important that we had another approach,” she said.
Before the controversy, Bud Light was America’s top-selling beer, but since the partnership, the company’s sales have dropped nearly 30 percent.
Members of the LGBTQ community have also withdrawn support of the brand after Mulvaney issued a statement last week criticizing the brand over its lack of support following the backlash the influencer received.
“I was waiting for the brand to reach out to me, but they never did,” Mulvaney said in a video.
“For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse in my opinion than not hiring a trans person at all, because it gives customers permission to be as transphobic and hateful as they want.”
A global bottling company who contracts with Anheuser-Busch, the Ardagh Group, has been severely impacted by Bud Light’s fall from grace and announced they would be closing their plants in North Carolina and Louisiana this month, WRAL reported.
The investigation found that the closure of the plants will leave nearly 650 employees without a job due which they attribute to Bud Light’s plummeting sales.