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Anheuser-Busch to Cut Hundreds of Jobs as Bud Light Sales Decline

Anheuser-Busch InBev is planning to lay off hundreds of employees due to a sustained decrease in sales for Bud Light. The company recently announced that it will be eliminating approximately 2% of workers in all corporate functions, which translates to around 380 individuals out of their 19,000 employees. While no specific timeline was provided for when the layoffs will begin, the decision reflects the challenges faced by Bud Light in recent months.

The downturn in Bud Light’s sales began after the company launched a marketing campaign in April featuring social media influencer and transgender rights activist Dylan Mulvaney. This move prompted calls from some conservatives to boycott the brand, resulting in Bud Light losing its position as the top-selling beer in May. Rival brand Modelo Especial took over as the new leader in the market.

Data from the month ending July 15 showed that Bud Light’s sales in the United States dropped by 26.5%, while Modelo’s sales increased by 13.5%. During this period, Bud Light held a 6.8% share of the U.S. beer market, whereas Modelo secured an 8.7% share. Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth explained that the company made these changes to ensure long-term success. By streamlining their corporate structure, they aim to enhance their focus on brewing high-quality beer.

It’s important to note that the upcoming layoffs will not affect employees working in breweries, driving, field sales, or warehousing. The controversy surrounding the marketing campaign with Dylan Mulvaney involved an Instagram post where she presented a commemorative Bud Light can featuring her face, highlighting her “365 days of girlhood” series on transitioning. This social media post sparked backlash from conservatives, including Kid Rock and Travis Tritt, who called for a boycott of the popular beer.

Additionally, Mulvaney expressed feeling abandoned by Bud Light in the weeks following the promotion and shared that she experienced significant bullying and transphobia due to the post. Members of the LGBTQ+ community have also voiced their disappointment, as they believe Bud Light attempted to distance itself too forcefully from Mulvaney and the original marketing message.

Although Bud Light may no longer hold the title of the nation’s top-selling beer, it’s still outselling every other brew this year, according to industry experts. The upcoming months of July and August will be crucial in determining Bud Light’s sales growth. The company remains optimistic about its future prospects.

This report includes information from the Associated Press.

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