After more than 20 years as the most popular beer in America, Bud Light has fallen to second place.
In the U.S. retail dollar sales for June 3, Modelo Especial, a Mexican lager, surpassed Bud Light, according to Nielsen data evaluated by Bump Williams Consulting.
Modelo held 8.4% of sales in grocery, convenience, and liquor stores in the United States, while Bud Light dropped to 7.3%.
It marks a turning point in Bud Light’s months-long sales slide since early April when haters pledged to boycott the company after it gave a commemorative can to transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Fans of Mulvaney have also criticized Bud Light, claiming that the company didn’t do enough to support her.
Since 2001, Bud Light has been the most popular beer in the United States, according to Dave William, vice president of analytics and insights at Bump Williams, and it may continue to hold that position this year.
He pointed out that Modelo’s 8% market share is still trailed by Bud Light’s 9% year-to-date market share. Additionally, sales of Bud Light are higher.
However, Modelo seems ahead, as seen by the weekly double-digit growth in its dollar sales. Modelo Oro, a new light beer introduced in May, is helping to increase brand recognition.
The retail figures do not account for sales at bars and restaurants, which are more difficult to trace.
Before April, Bud Light significantly outperformed Modelo in these establishments.
However, according to David Steinman, vice president and executive editor of Beer Marketer’s Insights, Modelo sales in bars and restaurants have been increasing swiftly, and it’s thought that Bud Light suffered a worse sales decline in these venues than it did in supermarkets.
According to Dave Williams, Modelo Especial sales increased 12%, while Bud Light sales fell 24% during the week ending June 3.
The Mexican imports Modelo and Corona have been the brightest bright spots in the essentially flat U.S. beer industry for years, according to Scott Scanlon, an executive vice president at the consulting firm Circana who monitors the alcohol business.
Modelo was predominantly marketed to Hispanic drinkers when it initially went on sale in the United States in the 1990s, according to Scanlon.
It began running English-language advertisements in 2015 and has dramatically expanded its customer base. According to Scanlon, young drinkers especially enjoy it because of its richer flavor.
According to Scanlon, Modelo is now the top seller in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, but there is still room for significant development on the East Coast.
“Modelo was destined to overtake all other breweries. The growth rates we are and have been seeing are astounding. Therefore, it was destined, according to Scanlon. “Time was the only issue.”
Since retail outlets account for a more significant portion of Modelo’s sales than pubs and restaurants, Scanlon said the epidemic accelerated the company’s U.S. sales. And Bud Light’s errors hastened its ascent even further.
The same firm that owns Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch InBev, also owns the Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo. Following InBev’s acquisition of Grupo Modelo, Constellation Brands, a corporation with headquarters in Rochester, New York, was granted a license by antitrust authorities to market Modelo in the United States beginning in 2013.
Constellation stated on Wednesday that it continues to see a “runway for growth” in the United States and nearly doubled its marketing spending on Modelo over the previous five years. However, Bud Light will attempt to offset that.
InBev announced last month that it would treble its marketing expenditures in the United States this summer, focusing on sporting events and music festivals. Additionally, Bud Light still plays a prominent role in supporting LGBTQ+ Pride activities.