Tags: bud light | shelf space

Bud Light Backfire to Cost Brands 15% of Shelf Space

Bud Light Backfire to Cost Brands 15% of Shelf Space
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 29 March 2024 11:18 AM EDT

Bud Light’s splashy comeback bid is about to hit a speed bump in the beer aisle.

With Bud Light and Budweiser beer sales down, U.S. retailers are reducing their shelf space an average of 15% to make way for top sellers, Bloomberg reports.

Parent company Anheuser-Busch said earlier this month it lost $1.4 billion in sales in North America due to the Bud Light boycott, with its market share only very slowly inching back up.

A-B InBev’s deep pockets to spend on advertising and marketing can, to some degree, compensate for the loss of a few feet of shelf space in stores, says Jesse Ferber, chief strategy officer at Columbia Distributing, which works with Walmart and Target in Washington and Oregon.

The hit to sales is uneven throughout the U.S., with some retailers likely to cut back only 5% to 6% of the brands’ shelf space, Ferber says.

Others could curtail shelf space as much as 17% to 18%, Ferber adds, with final numbers not coming out until May or June.

“Anheuser-Busch’s beers will lose a range of 10% to 15% of their space nationally as resets start,” he says.

Data from Circana, which tracks retail sales, shows that as the conservative backlash accelerated last year against Bud Light’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, Constellation Brands Inc.’s Modelo overtook Bud Light as the No. 1-selling beer in the United States by dollar volume.

Another major competitor, Molson Coors Brewing Co., has also benefitted from A-B’s troubles.

“We expect our core brands — Coors Light, Miller Lite and Coors Banquet — to grow shelf space by more than 10% in the largest U.S. grocery and convenience retailers this spring over last year,” says Molson Coors President of U.S. Sales Brian Feiro.

The executive called shelf space one of the “leading indicators of retail success” for beer.

Retail sales are not the only metric that determines an alcoholic beverage’s success, of course. Bud Light is also sold at bars, restaurants and stadiums — and just won sponsorships for the Olympics and Ultimate Fighting Championship.

By overall volume, Bud Light is still America’s top-selling brand, says Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kenneth Shea, citing Circana data. By this metric, Bud Light has a 10.0% volume share, compared to Michelob Ultra’s 8.6% share, Coors Light’s 7.9%, and Modelo’s 7.4%.

Local retailers, however, say consumers have overwhelmingly voted against Bud Light with their wallets, and are not returning to the brew.

“We let our customers dictate which products get the best placement in our stores,” says Blake Leonard, president of Stew Leonard’s Wines & Spirits. Leonard estimates that Bud Light sales have plummeted 50% since its partnership with Mulvaney.

“Overall, I think customers found a different option, and they’re happy, so now they’re buying that,” Leonard said.

© 2024 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
Bud Light's splashy comeback bid is about to hit a speed bump in the beer aisle. With Bud Light and Budweiser beer sales down, U.S. retailers are reducing their shelf space an average of 15% to make way for top sellers, Bloomberg reports.
bud light, shelf space
460
2024-18-29
Friday, 29 March 2024 11:18 AM
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