Modelo Especial is threatening to overtake Bud Light as the top-selling beer in the U.S. on the year as the Mexican lager continues to gobble up market share and Anheuser-Busch’s beleaguered brand continues to suffer following its partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
The latest NielsenIQ data provided to FOX Business by Bump Williams Consulting shows Modelo, brewed by Constellation Brands, has now beaten Bud Light in U.S. sales for the third consecutive month in July, and is gaining on it for annual sales.
According to the consulting firm, Bud Light has been the top-selling beer in terms of sales dollar and volume since 2001. But 2023 could be the year the brand’s reign comes to an end.
As of July 29, “Bud Light is still the #1 selling beer with 8.4 share of the category and Modelo Especial still sitting at 8.2 share,” Bump Williams Consulting wrote in its analysis, but added that the gap is “slowly narrowing as brand trends remain on opposite trajectories.”
Three weeks earlier, Bud Light’s year-to-date market share was sitting around 8.7%, and Modelo Especial was at 8.1% share of the category.
“If Bud Light continues its double-digit declines for the balance of 2023 and Modelo Especial continues to grow at 10% or greater for the balance of the calendar year, then it’s probable that Modelo Especial surpasses Bud Light as the No. 1 selling beer in America on a calendar basis,” Bump Williams, CEO of Bump Williams Consulting, told FOX Business last month.
Year to date, Bud Light sales are down 14.5% on a dollar basis and down 18.8% in volume, while Modelo Especial is up 9.6% in terms of dollar sales and 5.4% in volume. For the week ending July 29, Bud Light sales were down 25.9% on a dollar basis and 29.3% in volume, while Modelo was up 14.8% and 10.9%, respectively.
Other top brands are capitalizing on Bud Light’s downward spiral, too. For the latest week, dollar sales for Miller Lite were up 19.2%, Coors Light rose 20.7%, Yuengling Lager jumped by 22.5%, and Corona Extra sales increased by 4.8%.
Conversely, Bud Light’s contagion has also hit other Anheuser-Busch brands. Busch Light’s volume sales were dinged 6.4%, and Budweiser’s fell 13% in the last week of July.
The backlash against Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch InBev started in early April, not long after the company created and sent custom beer cans to transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney to mark “365 days of girlhood.” Some beer drinkers reacted by swearing off Bud Light, and the boycott caught on.
FOX Business’ Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.