Sales of Bud Light are way down after a controversial ad campaign and could send shockwaves up and down the beer company’s supply line.
A recent report from Beer Business Daily showed the brand owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev experienced significant drops in sales volume in some markets over the Easter weekend, implying a negative customer response to Bud Light’s new marketing campaign featuring transgender activist and social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
With a drop in sales impacting Bud Light distributors, companies along certain geographic areas of the U.S. supply line fear political backlash and subsequent sales impact from their demographic.
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“We dispense with any discussion of politics or social issues but note that the publication stated that some distributors in the Heartland and South were increasingly cautious given negative consumer reaction,” Truist equity research director Michael Roxland wrote in a reaction to the report.
Customer response is even more vital for suppliers, including Ball Corp., as Anheuser-Busch made up roughly 13% of the aluminum can manufacturer’s total sales in 2022, while beer and soft drinks accounted for around 70% of Ball’s North American business, Roxland wrote.
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Roxland also maintained a “Hold” rating on Ball Corp., but noted that North American volumes could be pressured should this issue persist and advised caution until the backlash from the campaign clears.
Amid growing criticism over the ad campaign, Bud Light has not made a social media post in over a week, with their last tweet coming on April 1.
Over the last five days, shares for Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch have tumbled roughly 4% and are down again Wednesday as sales continue to slump.
Anheuser-Busch and the Ball Corp. did not immediately respond to FOX Business inquiries.