Bud Light Lost Its Status as the Country’s Top-Selling Beer

The new top dog is not an American-made brew

A sign disparaging Bud Light along a country road in Arco, Idaho
A sign disparaging Bud Light along a country road in Arco, Idaho
Getty Images

Bud Light has had a rough couple of months. Sales of the beer have been declining, likely brought on by the negative right-wing headlines and redneck boycotts of the brand after it worked with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. And last month, Bud Light lost its title of the best-selling beer in the United States, one that it’s held for more than two decades. The new top dog? Modelo Especial, a (delish) Mexican lager that’s brewed near Mexico City by Constellation Brands. 

According to CNN, for the four weeks ending on June 3, Modelo had 8.4% of U.S. beer sales, while Bud Light had 7.3%. Modelo’s sales also grew 12.2%, while Bud Light’s declined 24.4%. And while it does make sense that Bud Light would lose some sales in light of the recent backlash, Modelo’s success can’t simply be attributed to the decline. Agave spirits — especially tequila — have been on the rise in recent years, as have Mexican beers. Consulting firm Bump Williams told CNN that a number of other factors have contributed to Modelo’s American success, including “strong retailer support, great advertising, eye-catching packaging and a ‘springboard effect’ from Cinco de Mayo going into the summer.”

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Greg Gallagher, the vice president of brand marketing for Constellation, added that Modelo has been seeing growth for the last several years. “Our growth is in maintaining that core [of Hispanic drinkers] but also bringing in non-Hispanic customers, and we’re having incredible success,” he said.

The funniest part of all of this is that AB InBev, a Belgian company, owns both brands, so they’re raking in the cash no matter what. So to all the people boycotting Bud Light, what you’re drinking is probably either owned by the same company that you’re snubbing, or you’re drinking a brand that is way cooler and supporting equally as positive causes.


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