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Bud Light sales continue to go flat during key summer month

Anheuser-Busch CEO on Dylan Mulvaney backlash
Anheuser-Busch CEO: Bud Light should be bringing people together 07:52

Bud Light is showing no signs of rebounding from its slump as sales plunged even further in June, recent industry data shows. 

Sales of the popular beer dropped 28% for the week ending June 24 when compared to the same period last year, according to beer tracker Bump Williams Consulting. Sales of Yuengling Lager, Coors Light and Miller Lite all rose by 22%, 19% and 16% respectively during that same week. 

That adds up to around $26.3 million less for Bud Light compared to a year ago, according to data from consumer behavior data analytics firm Circana, which measured one-week sales for Bud Light ending June 25. Coors Light and Mexican pilsner Modelo Especial each saw their sales grow by roughly $10.4 million during that same weekspan, Circana said. 

Bud Light and Dylan Mulvaney: Why the extreme backlash from a single social media post? 06:50

The prolonged sales dip for Bud Light comes weeks after a promotion fiasco with TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney, a trans rights activist and actress, that sparked an uproar among conservatives, including singers Kid Rock and Travis Tritt, who called for a boycott of the popular beer. 

Subsequent boycotts of Bud Light have also been initiated by members of the LGBTQ+ community, who feel let down by the brand's rigorous attempts to distance itself from Mulvaney and the original promotion.

The backlash from both groups led to Bud Light falling off its perch as America's best-selling beer in May. The brand sold $297 million worth of brew for the four weeks ending May 28 — a 23% drop from the same time period the year before.

The sales slump has grown so deep in recent weeks that some retailers are selling cases of Bud Light for less than cases of bottled water, the New York Times reported

Brendan Whitworth, the CEO of ABI, told CBS Mornings last month that the company is sending financial assistance to distributors and wholesalers affected by the dip in sales since Mulvaney's social media video went viral. Whitworth added that ABI plans to triple its investment in Bud Light this year as the company launches its upcoming summer campaign and prepares for the NFL season. 

Anheuser-Busch CEO: Bud Light should be bringing people together 07:52

Reversing course  

Hoping to restore customer confidence, Bud Light this week returned to retro themes, rolling out a new commercial featuring Kansas City Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce.

Called "Backyard Grunts with Travis Kelce," the commercial features the football player dressed in casual summer attire among other similarly dressed men as they settle into lawn chairs with grunts and groans.

The latest promo follows a nostalgia-packed ad, released by the company in June on Youtube, featuring beachgoers, fishermen and cookout attendees and set to the '70s disco hit "Good Times'' by Chic.

Still a top-seller

To be clear, Bud Light has sold more cases than any competitor year to date even though Modelo Especial is gaining momentum. 

"We continue to see Modelo maintain its advantage in dollar sales while Bud Light remains ahead on volume sales," Bump Williams said in its latest report. 

July and August are crucial months for Bud Light sales as the summer ushers in more holidays and beer-drinking, Bump Williams has said. Breweries also use the summer to place more in-store displays at grocers and gas stations in hopes of increasing sales. 

Bud Light's parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. 

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