Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, has lost $3 billion in its market value as a result of its sponsorship of a social media transgender influencer.
On March 31st, the beer conglomerate was valued at $132 billion. The firm announced its partnership with the transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney on April 1.
The reaction was quick. Kid Rock, a musician, shared a video of himself blasting cases of beer. The beer company was then slammed by country music musicians John Rich and Travis Tritt.
According to the Daily Mail, Anheuser-Busch’s price of shares fell to $64.96 last Tuesday, erasing $3 billion from the firm’s value.
Despite the setback, Anheuser-Busch remains committed to its collaboration with Mulvaney.
“Anheuser-Busch engages with a multitude of influencers across our brands as one of the numerous ways to truly connect with the audiences all across various demographics as well as passion points,” said Alissa Gordon Heinerscheid, marketing vice president.
“On occasion, we create one-of-a-kind commemorating cans for our fans and influencers of the brand like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was given to me as a gift in honor of a personal milestone, and it isn’t available for sale to the general public,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in the South have been “spooked” by the backlash and have placed fewer orders.
According to a Beer Business Daily report seen by Fox News, “We have reached out to a few of A-B Anheuser-Busch distributors that had become spooked, most especially across the Heartland and the southern part of the country, and even then in some of their more rural areas.”
According to bar owners and beer industry experts around the country, consumers have turned against Bud Light since the announcement.
According to Jeff Fitter, proprietor of Case & Bucks, a restaurant and sports bar in Barnhart, Missouri, “I think society occasionally flexes its muscles and reminds producers that the customer is still in charge. In their attempt to be inclusive, Bud Light excluded almost everyone else, including their usual audience.”
According to Fitter, Anheuser-Busch bottled product sales have decreased 30% in the last week, while draft beer sales have dropped 50%.
Bud sales fell across the board, not just at Case & Bucks. According to Alex Kesaris, owner of the Brewhouse, 80% of Bud Light customers bought something different this week, “while the 20% who ordered the beer ‘weren’t on social media and had not heard yet.”
According to a national beer industry analyst, Bud Light’s action was a “bad decision” that contradicted “virtually all regulations in developing brands and advertising.”
The analyst highlighted an example in Texas, where Bud Light has consistently supported a weekly dart club that attracts more than 100 players every Thursday. At the occasion, the bar typically consumes 3 kegs of Bud Light — approximately 500 12-ounce glasses.
The bar sold only 4 bottles of Bud Light this week.