According to a former executive, Bud Light, which was only a few months ago the most popular beer brand in the United States, must design an effective strategy to win back customers within the next few months or it risks lasting market share losses.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Anson Frericks, who had served as the head of sales and distribution at the parent company of Budweiser, AB InBev, until the end of the previous year, expressed fears about the future of Bud Light.
According to him, the decision of the company to collaborate with the transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney could potentially result in a lower presence for Bud Light that could be permanent.
As we get closer to September, we can anticipate that retailers will depend on sales data from the months prior in order to reallocate the limited shelf space they have.
Frericks issued a warning that the continuous boycott of the brand could result in it being removed from shelves in greater numbers in favor of companies that people are purchasing significantly more of.
Following what he referred to as an annual product “reset,” the former CEO of the beer business speculated that competing brands such as Coors Light and Yuengling would become more prominent features on store shelves.
He stressed the possibility that such brands could provide retailers with a better opportunity to increase beer sales.
Frericks told the Mail, “Those brands will have a better likelihood to succeed long term because they have more shelf space, they have more inventory, they have more back-stock, and they have more availability for consumers.”
The warning from the former executive comes at a time when new information suggests that the brew from Mexico, Modelo Especial, which is also owned by AB InBev, is on track to overtake Bud Light as the most popular beer in the United States this year.
Despite the fact that Modelo is having more success than Bud Light, the firm that owns both brands is still having a difficult time making ends meet.
According to a story in the New York Post last week, AB InBev’s market worth had decreased by $27 billion.
Bud Light has not presented a clear strategy to win back former customers, despite the fact that the company has lost billions of dollars to the mother ship.
In fact, despite mounting losses, the former American brand turned Belgian beer has decided to disregard the controversy.
Since Mulvaney showed his followers his face printed on a Bud Light can on April 1st, the Twitter account for the beer has only sent out one tweet.
Brendan Whitworth, CEO of AB InBev, has similarly avoided making a public statement about the “woke” controversy.
Two weeks into the boycott, he did give a general remark on the customer backlash.
“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer,” Whitworth said on April 14.
He added, “I care deeply about this country, this company, our brands and our partners. I spend much of my time traveling across America, listening to and learning from our customers, distributors, and others.”
The declaration had no effect on customers who had previously chosen to switch from Bud Light to another brand.
If they do not start returning within the following 90 days, their former brand may become more difficult to locate at supermarket and convenience stores.
Bud Light might find itself in unfamiliar territory as a second-tier brand as its rivals benefit from premium product placement and more readily available stock.
The time to win consumers back over to the brand, according to Frericks, is running out.
“Anheuser-Bush needs to figure out a strategy, it needs to make a statement about who their customers are and who they’re going to serve now, and try and regain those customers now in June and July, because by time it’s August, September, it’s too late,” he said.