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Bud Light sales continue to go flat

The Bud Light backlash rages on.

Anheuser-Busch InBev's (BUD) Bud Light sales tanked 24.6% for the week ending May 13 per new Nielsen data. That's a faster pace than the week-on-week drop of 23.6% for the period ending May 6.

Volumes, meanwhile, plunged 28.4% from the prior week compared to a 27.7% decline the week before.

As Yahoo Finance's Brooke DiPalma has reported, the declines started after transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney created an Instagram post during the March Madness basketball tournament endorsing the light beer.

Following the post on April 1, ABInBev saw Bud Light sales trend lower through April — now extending into May. The declines appeared to accelerate following an April 3 video from country musician Kid Rock, which spurred a wider boycott by many on the right.

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Alissa Heinerscheid — Bud Light's vice president of marketing — left the company in late April amid the controversy.

The situation is still weighing on the rest of ABInBev's expansive beer portfolio too.

Photo by: Siegfried Anthony/STAR MAX/IPx 2023 4/15/23 Cans of Bud Light beer are seen on Saturday April 15, 2023, in New York City. Bud Light's partnership with a transgender influencer, has sparked calls for a boycott of Anheuser-Busch products.
Cans of Bud Light beer are seen on Saturday April 15, 2023, in New York City. (AP) (Siegfried Anthony/STAR MAX/IPx)

Nielsen's data for the week ending May 13 showed a 6.8% decline in the volume of Michelob Ultra, a 14.9% decrease in Budweiser, and an 8.5% fall in Natural Light.

"Another week of flattish trends sequentially for Bud Light indicates that tracked channels have reached a point of stabilization, albeit at significantly lower levels for ABI than prior to the controversy," Evercore ISI analyst Robert Ottenstein wrote in a client note. "The rest of ABI’s portfolio moderated slightly after improving slightly in the week prior, which indicates that boycotts on the firm’s portfolio outside of Bud Light are continuing at this point."

Meanwhile, rivals aren't wasting any time trying to capitalize on the trouble for the King of Beers.

Heineken execs disclosed in a Reuters interview on Tuesday that it will spend $100 million to market a new light beer called Heineken Silver to consumers. The company plans to give away two million free samples this year as part of that initiative.

Brian Sozzi is Yahoo Finance's Executive Editor. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn. Tips on the banking crisis? Email brian.sozzi@yahoofinance.com

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