According to reports, a decline in Bud Light sales led a glass company in Wilson to cut bottle output beginning in May. The Ardagh Group, which owns the plant, stated last week that it would close the manufacturing plant in the middle of July. They planned to lay off close to 400 workers due to the sharp decline in Bud Light sales.
The Wilson plant will close alongside the 245-person Ruston plant. The corporation informed the Ruston leader in Louisiana of this last Thursday. The announcement refers to the closures as part of a “Multi-year Performance optimization program.” They didn’t provide any further details.
Workers at the Wilson facility claim that their union and management are negotiating a severance deal. This was many people’s second plant that Ardagh had shut down in the previous ten years. They need to find out where to apply for another well-paying union job.
About Bud Light
American brewing giant Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC, has its corporate office in St. Louis, Missouri. Anheuser-Busch InBev, currently the largest brewing corporation in the world, has controlled it exclusively since 2008.
Anheuser-Busch introduced the much-anticipated Bud Light in 1982. It would become one of the most popular beer brands domestically and internationally. It is currently the third-most valuable beer brand in the world.
Bud Light is a light lager beer in the American style that is crisp, clean and has a quick finish. It is brewed with a more delicate flavor and ease of consumption in mind.
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Bud Light Controversy
Bud Light came under attack on April 2, 2023. It is due to their collaboration with activist and transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. On April 21, 2023, Alissa Heinerscheid, the promotion’s vice president of marketing, took a leave. Todd Allen, vice president of global marketing at Budweiser, took her place.
A “Bud Light crisis” was being dealt with when HSBC downgraded Anheuser-Busch InBev stock on May 10, 2023. Following a boycott and a surge of criticism over the collaboration with Mulvaney, analysts at HSBC pointed to “deeper issues than ABI admits.” The analyst quoted a note from Beer Marketer’s Insights that showed a sharp decline in beer sales in April “of more than 25%.”
On June 13, 2023, The Wall Street Journal announced that Bud Light had lost its status as the best-selling beer in the United States. It’s because Modelo Especial surpassed it in May.
Bud Light Boycott’s Impact on the Workforce
Some Bud Light executives took leave of absence amid the criticism and claims of declining sales. This includes marketing director Alissa Heinerscheid and Daniel Blake, who is in charge of brand promotion.
The conservative commentator Lahren has been outspoken in her opposition to Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney. She asserts that unintended effects will have an impact on Bud Light employees.
Brendan Whitworth is the CEO of Anheuser-Busch and a former U.S. Marine and CIA spy. He wants people who boycott Bud Light to hold him responsible for the terrible Dylan Mulvaney promotion. He pleaded with them not to punish the 65,000 people whose livelihoods depend on Anheuser-Busch.
Also, he claimed responsibility for the failed promotion involving transgender influencer Mulvaney. He said this in an interview with CBS on June 28.
“I’d like to be very clear about one thing: I’m responsible for the Impact, he claimed in the interview. As the CEO, I’m accountable for everything we do, which he later posted to LinkedIn, though not before he turned off comments.
He said his 18,000 employees and the extra 47,000 individuals employed by its distributors bothered him the most. He claimed that the farmers who were also affected by the boycott were not included in that figure.
He urged consumers to drink Bud Light over the next July Fourth weekend, saying, “The Impact on the staff is what weighs the most on me.
Whitworth stressed that Anheuser-Busch would not alter its position towards its relationships. It is despite the company’s efforts to downplay Mulvaney’s influence on its strategy.
Bud Light has supported the LGBTQ community for 25 years, starting in 1998. “As we’ve always said, we’ll keep supporting the communities and businesses that we’ve supported for decades,” he added.
He may have tried to protect his employees from the adverse effects of the promotion. But he did not express any regret for working with Mulvaney either. Many customers insisted that getting their company back required this formal admission of a mistake.
According to a Deutsche Bank analysis, 21% of Bud Light consumers are increasing their purchases. But another 18% are decreasing them. As a result of the promotion, almost 25% of consumers have stopped purchasing beer.
Alissa Heinerscheid is the first woman to lead Bud Light in its 40-plus years. She became the target of furious consumers. She joined with transgender influencer Mulvaney to widen the beer’s reach.
Whitworth may be under a lot of pressure to handle a situation that could spiral out of control. But he’s not the only one who could face criticism.
Alissa Heinerscheid was placed on administrative leave. This decision was taken along with Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of marketing, Daniel Blake.
A corporate spokeswoman stated, “Given the situation, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence, which we support.” He added that Blake had made the same decision. They didn’t provide extra information out of respect for the privacy and safety of their employees.
Glass bottling operations were closed, laying off 600 workers!
In response to Bud Light’s disastrous advertising, a glass bottling company will close two locations. It is going to lay off more than 600 workers. This is due to the beer brand’s continuous struggle with massive financial losses and falling sales.
The Ardagh Group is a global glass manufacturer with a contract with Anheuser-Busch. It has announced closing its facilities in North Carolina and Louisiana in July. They are about to remove about 645 workers. This is according to WRAL.
The bottling business withheld the justification behind the change. However, according to a WRAL investigation, the plants are closing.
Bud Light sales are dropping due to widespread boycotts over the contentious Bud Light deal that honored Mulvaney’s “365 Days of Girlhood.” Retailers, distributors, bars, and contractual companies are feeling the heat.
According to employees at both bottling facilities, production decreased. It happened since Mulvaney’s social media video announcing the partnership went viral in April, according to WRAL.
A machine maintenance technician informed the source. He said Louisiana and North Carolina factories were forced to shut down some of their machinery. It is due to the decline in demand, which he blamed on “the Bud Light situation.”
Executives at Ardagh Group stated their intention to close the two facilities in a memo WRAL received from the company. This was “due to slow sales with Anheuser-Busch.”
Long-time workers said that they were not surprised by the change. Since making bottles for Budweiser and Bud Light makes up a significant part of their work at those sites,
Employees at the Wilson, South Carolina, plant reportedly said their management told them the company was closing due to the boycott of Bud Light.
According to machine repair worker David Williams, “Budweiser no longer sold the bottle, so they didn’t need our product,” he told WRAL. The Ardagh Group announced closing its facilities in North Carolina and Louisiana in July.
In a subsequent video, Mulvaney was then seen drinking a Bud Light beer in a bathtub. This caused an uproar online and widespread boycotts that caused a drop in sales that hasn’t yet recovered.
The company, whose brand has already lost billions of dollars in market value, has taken many measures to quell the anger. This includes issuing rebates that make Bud Light “free for customers” in some markets and drastically reducing beer.
The brewer has also taken action to assist distributors and increase marketing spending. It unveiled a new summer advertising campaign and sent CEO Brendan Whitworth on “CBS Mornings.” This was done to address the now-infamous debacle.
Despite their best efforts, the backlash against the Bud Light brand appears to be enduring as beer sales continue to decline.
Frontline employees were hurt by the sales decline, according to Inbev’s CEO last month. He continued that the business has even provided financial help to frontline personnel and wholesalers. It needed to be made clear if this applied to vendors like Ardagh.
For the week ending June 3, according to data from NiselsenIQ, Bud Light sales were down 24.4% from last year. The company has made many changes to lessen the criticism, such as supplying beer at steep discounts.
For the four-week and one-week periods ending June 3, Modelo Especial overtook Bud Light as the top-selling beer brand in dollars.