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Bud Light Is No Longer America’s Top-Selling Beer. This Is The New Number 1

The overthrow came after the Anheuser-Busch brand went through quite a lot, following transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s Instagram post.
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Mario Tama | (R) Getty Images | Jason Kempin
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Mario Tama | (R) Getty Images | Jason Kempin

Modelo Especial, a Mexican lager brew has pipped Bud Light to become the top-selling beer in America in May. Bud Light remained on top for over two decades. The overthrow came after the Anheuser-Busch, the parent brand of Bud Light, faced huge backlash and suffered massive losses following a collaboration with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. 

Modelo captured 8.4% of US retail beer sales with Bud Light falling to second place with 7.3% share for four weeks ending June 3, according to NIQ data given to consulting firm Bump Williams. Dollar sales were equally poor for Bud Light, with sales falling 24.4%, while Modelo's grew by 12.2%. 

Modelo is brewed near Mexico City by Constellation Brands.

“Modelo Especial appears to be increasing its sales growth each week as we get deeper into summer,” Williams told CNN. He further added that Modelo Oro a new low-carb beer, is off to a great start following its debut in May.

Getty Images | Mario Tama
Getty Images | Mario Tama

In recent years, consumers have been gravitating towards Mexican beers, tequila and mezcal. Williams attributed the success to several factors like great advertising, eye-catching packaging, and of course great retailer support.

Greg Gallagher, Vice President of the New York-based Constellation, said that Modelo has enjoyed an incredible and said that it wants to replicate its dominance with Hispanic drinkers with more demographics. “Our growth is in maintaining that core but also bringing in non-Hispanic customers, and we’re having incredible success," he told CNN.

Over the past several weeks, Bud Light sales have fallen and hovered around 25% weekly amid a strong campaign by the right-wing following the partnership with Mulvaney. 

Dylan Mulvaney is a transgender influencer, who has used social media to share her journey of transitioning into a girl. Mulvaney, 26, grew up in San Diego and studied musical theatre in college.

The Social Media Post That Started It All

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Dylan Mulvaney (@dylanmulvaney)


It's been two months since Mulvaney promoted the beer on her account. Ever since the post, Bud Light has been facing backlash. The sales plummeted and top marketing executives were sent on leave. It was also criticized by some in the LGBTQ community for its tepid response to the whole issue.


The #BoycottBudLight took off and consumers shared videos of themselves throwing away Bud Light packs. "Bawtidaba" singer Kid Rock posted a video of himself shooting up a stack of Bud Light cases. 

On April 4, three days after the video was posted, the beer company defended its partnership with Mulvaney and said, that the company works with, "hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics.”

"From time to time we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney,” Anheuser-Busch said in the statement. "This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public," as per LA Times. 


The Wall Street Journal reported that Alissa Heinerscheid, the company's vice president of marketing who oversaw the partnership, and her boss Daniel Blake who oversaw the marketing for the brand, were placed on leave. The company did not disclose any details but said that it was "in the interest of our employees’ privacy and safety.”

The company's spokesperson also said that Bud Light had also made "some adjustments to streamline the structure of our marketing function to reduce layers so that our most senior marketers are more closely connected to every aspect of our brand's activities.”