Bud Light boycott: ‘Signs of progress’ in demand, Deutsche Bank says
In a recent survey of 600 Americans, the German lender found “substantive signs of progress” for the beer brand, as consumers began to retreat from the boycott.
“Crucially, the proportion of former Bud Light drinkers who are [saying] they are very unlikely to buy the brand in three to six months has reduced from 18% to just 3%, a significant improvement,” Deutsche Bank research analyst Mitchell Collett wrote in a note on Wednesday, which has been seen by Fortune.
The bank, which periodically publishes consumer insight surveys on large companies including Belgian brewer AB InBev, noted that the change in attitude was especially noticeable among those over the age of 55, as well as consumers making less than $25,000 per year.
It also found that 19% of beer drinkers were no longer willing to buy the brand—an improvement from the 21% who said the same last month.
Since the shift had steadily continued through June and July, Deutsche Bank said it was confident it was observing “a trend not simply volatility” and predicted a bounce back in Bud Light sales in the coming months.
Bud Light was caught in a heated controversy in April over a collaboration with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. It riled conservatives, who took to social media to call for a boycott of the brand.
AB InBev distanced itself from the issue in May, saying that one post didn’t constitute a campaign, while Mulvaney continued to receive backlash.
Bud Light’s failure to stand by the TikTok icon angered members of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.
There was an instant impact from the row, with Bud Light seeing a dramatic drop in sales.
It was dethroned as the most widely-consumed beer in America, and its parent company suffered from $400 million worth of lost revenue in the April-to-June quarter.
In the month ending July 22, retail sales of Bud Light had slumped 26% compared to the same period a year earlier.
“We didn’t plan on our largest competitor’s largest brand declining in volume by nearly 30% in the quarter,” Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley said earlier this month.
AB InBev directed Fortune to Deutsche Bank when asked for comment on the survey’s findings.