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Bud Light Struggles to Sell Beer in North America Amid Trans Promotion Backlash

Anheuser-Busch Inbev said Tuesday that revenue growth in most of its global regions was offset by a drop in North American sales, in a sign of continuing fallout from a promotion with a transgender influencer that cost it sales.

The world’s largest brewer and parent company of Bud Light said adjusted earnings for the latest quarter rose 4.1% to $5.4 billion on revenues that climbed 5% to $15.6 billion.

Revenue in the United States for the July-September period, however, tumbled 13.5%. AB InBev, based in Leuven, Belgium, noted that sales to retailers were down “primarily due to the volume decline of Bud Light.”

Bud Light sales plunged amid a conservative backlash after the brand sent a commemorative can to transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney in early April.

The controversy toppled Bud Light from its position as America’s best-selling beer for more than two decades. In June, it dropped to second place in U.S. retail sales behind Modelo Especial. Modelo – which is owned by InBev but imported and sold by Constellation Brands in the U.S. – remains the market leader, with nearly 9% share in year-to-date retail sales through Oct. 21. Bud Light has an 8% share.

U.S. dollar sales of Bud Light were down 29% in the four weeks ending Oct. 21 compared to the same period a year ago, according to Nielsen data compiled by Bump Williams Consulting. They are down nearly 19% for the year to date.

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