Bud Light Has Lost Its Spot As America's Favorite Beer

Things continue to look dismal for Bud Light following two months of controversy and boycott. After collecting the sales records from May, Bud Light has officially lost its title as America's most popular beer of choice.

According to a study by Circana, Bud Light made $297.3 million in May, a 23% dip from this time last year. Taking the new top spot? Modelo Especial grew 15% for a total of $333.1 million in sales. Though these numbers may seem dire, Bud Light is still the top-selling brand of the year so far. But the news is still causing concern among stockholders and other business leaders at Bud Light's brewer, Anheuser Busch, with the approach of the top-selling summer season.

As mentioned in a Business Insider article, JP Morgan speculated that the brand could experience up to a 13% drop in sales by year's end. With this in mind, Bud Light is looking to really turn this downward spiral around during the summer sweep, when beer is the tipple of choice for summer barbecues and block parties. How? The company plans to triple its summer advertising budget.

The power of a boycott

This serious dip in sales comes after a conservative boycott of the brand, following an ad with trans rights activist and TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney. On April 2nd, Mulvaney announced her partnership with Bud Light, promoting a contest and showing personalized cans that Bud Light had made with her face on them, celebrating her 1-year womanhood anniversary. The backlash from conservatives was immediate, with many boycotting what they called a "woke" campaign. Instead of staying the course, Anheuser Busch immediately began a mea culpa campaign, placing two advertising execs under leave and stressing to customers that they did not wish to politicize their beer brand.

As the company made a panicked backtrack on the partnership with Mulvaney, members of the LGBTQ+ community became outraged at the company's waffling support. As reported by WGN, some liberal bars in Chicago also started a boycott, refusing to carry the brand after it downplayed its association with the Pride community. With neither the right nor the left endorsing Anheuser Busch's recent campaign choices, it's hard to know which PR blow has been more severe for the brand. All that's clear is that sales are on a downward trend, with no immediate sign of slowing down.