Truckers who distribute Bud Light across America have faced abuse including homophobic slurs following the backlash to the beer’s Dylan Mulvaney partnership.
Details of the incidents were reported as a former executive at Anheuser-Busch said independent distributors are the ‘biggest losers’ amid the ongoing furor.
Several have reported that a decline in sales of Bud Light has hurt business. Many are family-run businesses which are independent from Anheuser-Busch and were blindsided by the Mulvaney tie-up and subsequent backlash.
Some said their drivers had middle fingers aimed at them and have even been called ‘gay beer salesmen’, according to ABC News.
Anheuser-Busch is now desperately trying to win back customers who’ve boycotted its products, which also include Budweiser and Michelob.
Bud Light distributors have been abused over the beer’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, it is claimed. A former Anheuser-Busch executive said the independent distributors have been the ‘biggest losers’ in the debacle
Anheuser-Busch is now desperately trying to win back customers who’ve boycotted its products, which also include Budweiser and Michelob
Anson Frericks, who departed his executive role at Anheuser-Busch last year, said: ‘The biggest losers here are the 500 independent businesses in the U.S. that distribute Anheuser-Busch products. Those are the people really hurting.’
The president at one distributor said wholesalers and their staff are in a ‘really bad spot’ and lamented the ‘frustrating’ situation.
Some of the distributors are considering topping up paychecks of workers who rely on commission after revenue and sales took a hit following the ongoing boycott.
Pestinger Distribution Company in Kansas told ABC that Bud Light sales have fallen around 30 percent in recent weeks. Owner Matt Pestinger said: ‘We’re stressed some because you never want to see red numbers.’
He said he’s still got faith in the leadership at Anheuser-Busch and ‘[respects] the way they’ve been handling it’.
Another company chief said workers were ‘feeling it’.
A third added: ‘In the end, the people hurt the most are the local small business retailers and wholesalers in your community.’
Anheuser-Busch, the company which owns Budweiser and Bud Light, has lost $15 billion in value since the tie-up was announced.
Budweiser recently teamed up with Harley-Davidson for a macho commercial that includes beer cans emblazoned with the motorcycle-maker’s logo – as company executives try to win back customers.
Bud Light’s partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney has led to a decline in sales
The commercial features a gray-haired, male mechanic working on a Harley bike before three men are shown drinking the beer.
Speaking over a rock instrumental, a male narrator says: ‘The greatest legacies are built with grit and resilience, one detail at a time. Limited edition Budweiser Harley-Davidson cans – for those who give everything to their craft. This Bud’s for you.’
The masculine tone is in stark contrast to Bud Light’s ill-fated partnership with Mulvaney, 26, which saw the trans influencer receive a can of beer with her face on it to celebrate 365 days of ‘womanhood’.
And as Anheuser-Busch has lost value, competitors have added $3.2billion in market value to their brands.
Molson Coors, which owns Coors Lite, has seen an increase of $2.2billion market value, around 20 percent, while Heineken has a spike of $1billion – an increase of 1.7 percent.
Bud Light sales have fallen significantly since the beer’s partnership with Dyland Mulvaney and analysts at JPMorgan expect it will cause Anheuser-Busch earnings to slide 26% this year
Sales of Bud Light are down more than 23 percent as of the week ending May 6, according to JPMorgan beverage analyst Jared Dinges.
He said the bank expects a 12 to 13 percent volume decline over the course of a year in the US.
‘We believe there is a subset of American consumers who will not drink a Bud Light for the foreseeable future,’ the analysts said on Tuesday.
He added: ‘Shares have underperformed EU Beer peers by 15% since the start of April.
‘We believe this is due to U.S. uncertainty, as investor focus has shifted squarely to the potential impact from the Bud Light controversy.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk