Severe Consequences as Bud Light Controversy Takes a Devastating Toll
Bud Light, the once-revered beer brand, finds itself in a dire situation as sales continue to plummet, resulting in the closure of glass bottling plants and causing hundreds of hardworking individuals to lose their jobs.
In a misguided move on April 1, Bud Light joined forces with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney, igniting a firestorm of controversy. However, little did they know that this ill-fated collaboration would lead to a series of repercussions that now threaten the brand’s future.
Since the partnership announcement, Bud Light has faced an onslaught of backlash from various quarters, including prominent figures like Kid Rock and the LGBTQ+ community, as well as losing its longstanding position as the king of beers.
The magnitude of the backlash has been so severe that Bud Light has been forced to slash its prices dramatically, almost giving away its beer.
Glass Bottling Plant Closures
The devastating impact of Bud Light’s downfall is felt most profoundly by companies connected to Anheuser-Busch, leading to the closure of glass bottling plants. The Ardagh Group, a renowned global glass producer that supplies Anheuser-Busch, recently announced the impending shutdown of two bottling plants in North Carolina and Louisiana, scheduled for mid-July.
Approximately 400 employees being laid off in Wilson, North Carolina.
Tragically, the closure of these plants will result in the loss of 245 jobs in Ruston, Louisiana, and approximately 400 employees being laid off in Wilson, North Carolina. While the Ardagh Group attributes these closures to a “Multi-year Performance Optimization Program,” internal documents tell a different story.
Internal memos obtained by WRAL-TV shed light on the true cause behind the plant closures. Bud Light’s declining sales and the subsequent boycott orchestrated by consumers were revealed as significant factors contributing to the shutdown. Employees, such as James Munhall, a journeyman machine repair mechanic, express their frustration, stating,
“Since April, we’ve had a couple of machines down. It was, of course, being pointed towards the Bud Light situation.”
Devastating Impact on Budweiser Production
Longtime employees at the Wilson plant confirm that a significant portion of the factory’s business was centered around producing bottles for Budweiser and Bud Light. With Budweiser ceasing its orders for bottles, the demand for the plant’s product rapidly diminished, leading to dire consequences. David Williams, a machine repair mechanic, poignantly stated, “Because of Budweiser no longer selling the bottles, they no longer needed our product.”
The repercussions extend beyond Bud Light’s domain, casting a shadow over the entire industry. Workers at both bottling plants reported reduced production following the public attention garnered by Mulvaney’s video announcement of the collaboration in April.
Industry insiders, including James Munhall, believe that this crisis is indicative of larger challenges faced by the beer industry as a whole.
A Hard-Hitting Blow
Even before the Bud Light controversy, Ardagh’s CEO had already expressed concern over a 9% decrease in fourth-quarter earnings in North America during a February earnings call. More recently, Bud Light’s sales plummeted by a staggering 28.5% during the week ending June 17, as reported by The Daily Mail. These figures underline the severity of the crisis that has cost Anheuser-Busch billions of dollars in market value since its ill-fated partnership with TikTok star “365 Days of Girlhood.”