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Bud Light is no longer America's best-selling beer after boycott, Wall Street analysts warn Anheuser-Busch faces 'permanent' damage

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Bud Light has been dethroned as the king of beers in the United States following a widespread boycott.

CBS News reported that Anheuser-Busch InBev sold $297 million of Bud Light for the four-week period ending on May 28 — tumbling 23% from the same duration from the previous year, according to consumer-behavior analytics firm Circana.

Meanwhile in the same time period, Modelo Especial beer raked in $333 million in sales, jumping 15% over the past year.

Bill Newlands, the chief executive officer of Constellation, told Newsweek of becoming the best-selling beer in the country, "We thought that would take a little longer. We've been very fortunate that, that's gone a little quicker than we had anticipated. But what a great position to be in on the beer side."

Modelo Especial was the second-fastest-growing beer brand in 2022, according to data from Circana/IRI.

Modelo Especial was first brewed in 1925 and is part of Grupo Modelo. In 2013, Anheuser-Busch InBev sold Grupo Modelo brands Modelo and Corona to Constellation Brands as part of a $2.9 billion deal.

Sales of Bud Light have declined for seven consecutive weeks after transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney promoted the beer brand on Instagram — which ignited a consumer boycott.

Without a course correction, experts warn that slumping sales could be "permanent," thus hurting the entire Anheuser-Busch InBev corporation.

Analysts at global asset management firm Bernstein warned that Anheuser-Busch InBev should expect a "permanent 15% haircut" to Bud Light sales. The Wall Street research firm also lowered AB InBev's overall 2023 profit forecast by 6.7% after the Bud Light boycott.

The Drinks Business reported, "Going forward, analysts from financial services company Jeffries have said that the 'Bud Light saga may endure.' It said that within their survey of beer distributors some 65% believed that 'protracted Bud Light demand weakness' is 'expected to linger' with an expectation the controversy could last more than six months. A third of respondents believed there could be a 'permanent lapse in Bud Light consumers' as well."

Dave Williams, vice president of analytics and insights at Bump Williams Consulting, told CBS MoneyWatch, "Unless Bud Light starts to experience a serious course correction in terms of performance, which can only come from consumers finding their way back into the brand family, then that firm grip on the No. 1 rank by year-end loosens a bit more every week."

Sales supervisors revealed that Bud Light sales for the week ending on Memorial Day plummeted by as much as 60%.

A sales supervisor told ABC News, "This has really, really killed a lot of the guys who are commission-based. That's who it's really hurting. There's nothing they could've done – this was thrown in their faces."

Williams told Fox Business, "I think a lot of Anheuser-Busch distributors have been working exceptionally hard to communicate to their local communities that it wasn’t their fault. And once they clearly stated that this was not on them, I think their strong relationships in retail and with the local communities began to resonate."

Anheuser-Busch InBev hsa lost as much as $27 billion in market value since Mulvaney promoted the brand on social media.

Bud Light has also faced boycotts from the LGBTQ community for not fighting against the conservative backlash.

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