Issues revolving around the recent boycott of Bud Light affect more than just retail beer sales. While many videos have been posted to social media showing full or near-full shelves of Bud Light, this only tells a part of the story.
Bud Light’s decision to partner with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney has severely hurt the brand’s image and has already resulted in the ouster of the executives responsible for the decision.
Anheuser-Busch has escalated its damage control. For all the people claiming sales haven't really been impacted, they wouldn't be doing what they're doing unless there'd been real damage. https://t.co/oreXRCVgUj
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) April 29, 2023
In fact, even bars that leaned into the controversy are sometimes struggling due to a boycott by former customers.
A bar in Bloomington, Indiana appears to be facing the same pressure after pressuring customers that complained about Bud Light following the Mulvaney partnership.
The Fairfax Bar and Grill wrote on their Facebook page earlier this month that its owners were “tired of all the hate.”
The post continued, stating that bars are “public spaces where ideas should be exchanged.”
The bar’s operators then wrote that “due to all of the bigotry and hatred that has surfaced around the Bud Light controversy any patron wanting to voice their concerns about the issue will be immediately asked to pay their bill and leave our establishment.”
This was followed by another post, which has also been deleted, stating that the bar’s social media page “has been flooded with blatantly transphobic, homophobic and racist comments.”
These included, according to the bar’s social media, “a plethora of disgusting memes.”
The bar later posted that since so many former customers left, it needed “new clientele,” and that “we still need more of you right now.”
The establishment then walked back their comments even further, stating that people should come to the bar to “enjoy each other’s company” and to “raise a glass to civility.”
The boycott against Budweiser products goes much deeper than one bar in Indiana. Anheuser-Busch reported a significant drop in Bud Light purchases, losing 17% of their market share in mid-April.
Furthermore, the brand’s competitors Coors Light and Miller Light increased by almost 18%.
Budweiser is reportedly preparing for a significant marketing push after the Mulvaney disaster. The brand is planning for significant advertising, including during the NFL draft.