Oct 31, 2023 - Economy & Business

Trouble still brews for Bud Light

Illustration of soda cans creating a frowning face

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

The world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, is still feeling the fallout of its Bud Light controversy from earlier this year.

Why it matters: Months after conservative backlash sparked from Bud Light's campaign with a transgender social-media influencer, the beer brand's parent company continues to see weakening sales.

By the numbers: AB InBev reported that third-quarter revenue in the U.S. declined 13.5% and that its 16.6% drop in sales to retailers was mainly due to "the volume decline of Bud Light."

  • Despite revenue decline in the U.S., AB InBev said its overall third-quarter revenue increased 5% to $15.57 billion.

Catch up quick: Bud Light, one of Anheuser-Busch's beer brands, sent transgender social-media influencer Dylan Mulvaney an influencer package in April to promote a March Madness contest.

  • The package also included a Bud Light can featuring Mulvaney's image, which Mulvaney said was to celebrate one year of her "Days of Girlhood" series that documented part of her transition.
  • The post sparked right-wing backlash toward the brand and resulted in plummeting U.S. sales of Bud Light.
  • The company in August said the fallout from the controversy was diminishing and that its global footprint was containing the damages.

Of note: In June, Bud Light lost the coveted title of being the U.S.' top beer seller.

  • And in July, Anheuser-Busch announced layoffs for roughly 350 of its employees.

Go deeper: How Bud Light became a microcosm of America in 2023

Go deeper