The controversy surrounding Bud Light in the U.S. seriously cut into parent company Anheuser Busch’s bottom line, according to a recent report.
In its second-quarter sales report, the world’s largest brewer reported that overall revenue from the U.S. dropped 10% and sales to U.S. retailers declined by around 14%.
This translated to a $395 million drop in North American revenue, compared to the same time last year. The company attributes the drop to lower-than-normal sales for Bud Light.
Despite the loss in revenue, the company reported that most consumers have a “favorable” view of Bud Light.
Bud Light was the center of a public relations nightmare earlier this year after sponsoring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. After Ms. Mulvaney, a transgender woman, posted a photo of a custom-made beer can featuring her face on Instagram, conservative and anti-transgender influencers expressed their outrage.
The firestorm brought in conservative entertainers like Kid Rock, who filmed himself shooting up a case of Bud Light, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who accused the company of ignoring their fiduciary responsibilities by associating with Ms. Mulvaney. The company eventually backed off from associating with Ms. Mulvaney to the disappointment of LGBTQ activists.
Though it may take longer for Bud Light to recover from the controversy, other brands owned by Anheuser Busch continue to generate significant revenue for the company. In the quarterly report, the company reported stronger-than-average sales for Corona and Stella Artois products around the world and said overall revenue increased by around 7%.