Headline RoundupJune 14th, 2023

Bud Light No Longer Top-Selling US Beer After Dylan Mulvaney Controversy

Summary from AllSides News Team

For the first time since 2001, Bud Light is no longer the top-selling beer in the United States.

The Details: Modelo Especial represented 8.4% of U.S. retail beer sales in the four weeks ended June 3, compared with 7.3% for Bud Light. The brand's sales were down about 24% in the week ended June 3 compared to the same week last year. Bud Light's total U.S. sales over the first five months of the year are still higher than any other beer.

For Context: Bud Light held a 10% share of retail sales on March 25, the week before it sent transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney a custom Bud Light can with their face on it. The marketing effort fueled criticisms from the political right. Industry analysts say Mexican beers like Modelo were already cutting into Bud Light's market share, but the controversy may have sped up the trend.

How the Media Covered it: Some right-rated sources framed the news as a rightful consequence for Bud Light's purported political pandering. Some left- and center-rated sources highlighted context about Mexican beer sales rising before the Mulvaney controversy. CNN Business (Lean Left bias) attributed Bud Light's slump to "right-wing media’s barrage of negative headlines following its partnership with Mulvaney." National Review (Right) called the boycotts a result of the brand's "decision to wade into radical political waters by partnering with" Mulvaney. Wall Street Journal (Center) called the data an "ominous sign for Bud Light distributors."

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