Not only does the bad news keep coming for Bud Light, it’s looking like it won’t recover, at least not in the United States. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal mentioned some insight revealing that “that retailers are already reallocating space to other brands during shelf resets that take place in the spring, with more resets to come in the fall.” This comes from Molson Coors Chief Executive Gavin Hattersley, a competing brand:
There are reasons to believe that Bud Light sales might be permanently impaired. Molson Coors Chief Executive Gavin Hattersley said on a conference call with analysts that retailers are already reallocating space to other brands during shelf resets that take place in the spring, with more resets to come in the fall. In bars and other on-premise channels, the company gained more than 12,000 tap handles in the quarter, he added. Molson Coors also said it is planning an additional $100 million of marketing spending in the second half of the year to keep that sales momentum. “Our job is to maintain those gains that we’ve got,” Hattersley said.
The report details how company Anheuser-Busch InBev may still ultimately recover, with its shares being up around 2 percent earlier on Thursday, though it acknowledges that “Bud Light might never fully regain the ground they have lost to competitors.”
This isn’t just coming from competitors though. The New York Post learned last week that many distributors have given up on earning customers.
Another report from the WSJ has more on the numbers, which remain not good for the Bud Light brand. For the week ending in July 15, U.S. retail-store sales fell 26.1 percent compared to this time last year, and did slightly worse for the week through July 22, falling 26.8 percent.
AB InBev revenue for the second-quarter in the United States dropped 10.5 percent, while earnings fell 28.2 percent, and that’s before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, as the report detailed.
That report also goes further in depth about a media blitz campaign. “Anheuser-Busch is flooding the airwaves with lighthearted Bud Light commercials free of controversy,” the subheadline reads. The thing is, it’s likely too late for that.
Here’s more about their ad effort:
A TV commercial from the campaign takes a lighthearted tone, depicting beer drinkers confronting summertime mishaps such as falling out of a hammock and burning bare feet on sun-scorched asphalt, but enjoying Bud Light.
The ad shows men and women pursuing solidly apolitical activities— sunning themselves, sitting in the shade, struggling to paddleboard, shooting a basketball, opening a keg and eating outdoors. Dogs cool off in a kiddie pool.
Ads for the brand have appeared about 3,400 times on national television from June 1 through July 30, according to iSpot.tv, an ad-measurement company that tracks TV and streaming-video advertising.
In the comparable period last year, Bud Light ads ran 32 times on national TV, according to iSpot. The brand’s TV commercials traditionally run more often in the fall, including during National Football League games.
Bud Light has also been running promotions, including a weekly $10,000 giveaway and a $15 rebate program on large packs timed around July 4.
Sales, meanwhile, remain in a slump.
But the current ad campaign promoting Bud Light, which began in late June, is working hard to portray a sunnier image. The effort is an extension of the “Easy to Drink, Easy to Enjoy” theme Bud Light introduced during the Super Bowl.
Is Bud Light for real, here? They couldn’t have thought of such a tactic months ago, before their ill-fated decision to offer trans activist Dylan Mulvaney, who is a biological man, commemorative beer cans to celebrate his “365 days of girlhood.” Even if the company itself doesn’t seem the writing on the wall, its own distributors do, and it comes off as pretty desperate.
Let’s also not forget that its now reportedly ousted executive, Bud Light Marketing Vice President Alissa Heinerscheid, had claimed that she wanted to market the “declining” brand to “young people,” and that the customer base had been “fratty and out of touch.”
If you’ve seen the replies on Bud Light’s Twitter ads–which started back up in June after going dark for months–you know it’s not a pretty situation.
“Since April, we actively engaged with over 170 000 consumers across the country through a third-party research firm and the data shows that most consumers surveyed are favorable towards the Bud Light brand and approximately 80% are favorable or neutral,” the report claimed in the “Commercial highlights” section. We’ll see how much that supposed view point lines up with sales drops. It’s no wonder that the Post editorial board released a piece on Wednesday titled “Bud Light went woke with Dylan Mulvaney, got broke and may well permanently croak.”