The parent company of Bud Light announced this week that it has laid off hundreds of workers as the backlash against the brand appears to show no signs of slowing down. Anheuser-Busch’s decision comes as Bud Light lost its place as the country’s most-sold beer following its announced marketing partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney in April.
The beer giant did not announce the exact number of layoffs but said that it would affect less than two percent of almost 18,000 employees who work there. This would imply about 350 layoffs.
The company’s CEO Brendan Whitworth said that Anheuser-Busch never takes “these decisions lightly, we want to ensure that our organization continues to be set for future long-term success.”
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 27, 2023
“These corporate structure changes will enable our teams to focus on what we do best—brewing great beer for everyone,” he added.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the company was cutting marketing and white-collar positions in major cities, including New York.
The recent wave of layoffs came the same month after a number of bottling employees tied to the company were also let go. Ardagh Group announced that it was shutting down its plants in North Carolina and Louisiana, resulting in more than 600 jobs lost.
The company had been a major partner of Anheuser-Busch. An internal corporate memo stated that the decision occurred “due to slow sales with Anheuser-InBev.”
Earlier this week, marketing data showed that Bud Light competitors Miller Lite and Coors Light each overtook their rival in restaurant sales.
Bud Light faced a 34% decline in sales in high-volume bars and restaurants in 2023’s second quarter.
Miller Lite saw its sales increase by more than 20%, which gave it the top spot. Coors Light saw its sales increase by almost 20%, allowing it to take third place in the most-sold beers in those establishments.
Bud Light fell to fourth place.
Furthermore, overall sales of Bud Light have continued to shrink. The company’s sales volume fell by more than 26% in mid-July relative to last year. This represents a further decline in beer sales since the July 4 holiday.
Modelo Especial has outsold Bud Light since May and claimed the throne as the country’s most-sold beer brand.