23 August 2023

No recovery in Bud Light this year, analyst says

USA | The controversy around the Bud Light promotion with a transgender activist in April continues to weigh on sales for the brand. If you are waiting for the big Bud Light recovery, you may not want to hold your breath.

“We assume no recovery in Bud Light [this year],” RBC Capital Markets analyst James Jones said in a note in mid-August, per the website Yahoo Finance.

“Recent data continues to show that tracked channels reached a point of stabilization at significantly lower levels for AB-InBev than pre-controversy,” Evercore ISI analyst Robert Ottenstein added.

The latest sales numbers proof it. Bud Light sales tanked 26.5 percent for the week ending 5 August, per Nielsen data. Volumes, meanwhile, crashed 29.7 percent, up slightly from the 29.3 percent drop the week prior.

It is hard to believe that we have entered into the fifth month of this controversy. It is even harder to believe that the boycott is still raging as much as it is.

Enter Billy Busch

Meanwhile, Billy Busch Sr., an heir to the Anheuser-Busch dynasty, said he would “be the first in line to buy” the Bud Light brand back from Anheuser-Busch.

Appearing on conservative media personality Tomi Lahren’s show on 16 August, Mr Busch said if Belgium-based AB-InBev does not “want that brand any longer, sell it back to the Busch family. Sell it to me.”

Reportedly, Billy Busch, who has not worked for Anheuser-Busch, is the half-uncle of August Busch IV, the last person of the Busch family to serve as CEO of Anheuser-Busch. He founded the William K. Busch Brewing Co. in 2011 to continue in his family’s footsteps. However, his Kräftig beer brands struggled and he was forced to close the business in 2019.

Heineken launches Heineken Silver

Heineken is apparently the next beer in line to swoop in and take advantage of Bud Light’s misery. A company spokesperson told Yahoo Finance that it will spend USD 100 million to market a new beer, called Heineken Silver, to American consumers. Heineken also plans to give away 2 million free samples this year as part of that initiative.

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