‘Tough Year for Beer’: 2023 Sees Lowest Consumption Level in 25 years Amid Bud Light-Dylan Mulvaney Fiasco

‘Tough Year for Beer’: 2023 Sees Lowest Consumption Level in 25 years Amid Bud Light-Dylan Mulvaney Fiasco

With the help of Dylan Mulvaney, Americans turned away from beer in droves during 2023.

In April, Bud Light began one of the most-heralded face plants in marketing history as it partnered with the transgender influencer. A boycott resulted that left the Anheuser-Busch brand swimming in red ink.

As noted by the Wall Street Journal, Bud Light’s sales remained low months after the boycott began.

Over a four-week period ending Dec. 9, Bud Light’s retail sales were down 28 percent from the previous year, according to Nielsen data analyzed by consulting firm Bump Williams.

The revolt of the brand’s core audience came as Americans are getting their alcohol fix from other places, leading to what Beer Marketer’s Insights said was a sales drop wider than Bud Light.

“It was a tough year for beer,” David Steinman, BMI vice president and executive editor, said, according to NBC.

Steinman said beer shipments will drop below 200 million barrels for the first time since 1999.

Although Bud Light was the poster child for sales heading down the drain, Steinman said what he termed domestic-premium brands such as Bud Light Miller Light and Coors Light, all were impacted by changing tastes.

Lester Jones, vice president of analytics and chief economist at the National Beer Wholesalers Association, said new players are eroding the dominance of long-time companies. In 2023 Bud Light was dethroned by Modelo Especial and became the best-selling beer in the US.

“For example, some of the world’s largest soft drink and energy companies introduced sugar-forward alcohol beverages to the market, all of which are vying for the same consumer occasions as traditional malt- and hop-forward products,” he said.

“The U.S. beer industry had a wild ride in 2023 against the backdrop of an expanding economy that created more jobs and wage gains for many people, as well as an oversupplied alcohol marketplace that saw a rapid influx of new products,” Jones said.

Profits did not fall to the same extent as sales because prices rose and beer sales did not fall globally the way they did in America, Steinman said.

“With prices going up, dollar sales have continued to grow and profits have been rising,” he said.

But with craft beers flooding the market past the saturation point, some commentators see trouble ahead.

“This is an industry-wide, five-alarm fire,” Craig Purser, president of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, said in October, according to the Journal.

The Journal noted that nonalcoholic beers and canned cocktails are the current fad. Younger adults prefer spirits to beer, and overall drink less than their elders, it reported.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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