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Anheuser-Busch Layoffs on Tap in Wake of Bud Light Controversy, Loss of Top U.S. Beer Spot

July 27, 2023
Bud Light lost its spot as the top-selling beer in the U.S. after the backlash over the Dylan Mulvaney controversy, and the parent company will trim the U.S. corporate workforce as a result.

After losing the top spot in U.S. beer sales the past two months following the uproar around Bud Light’s involvement with transgender Instagram influencer Dylan Mulvaney, Anheuser-Busch announced it will lay off some of its U.S. corporate staff, amounting to less than 2 percent of the U.S. workforce.

According to a statement shared in news reports, an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said the goal was to “simplify and reduce layers within its organization,” and that brewery and warehouse staff, drivers and field sales would not be included in the layoffs. Estimates say that approximately 380 positions would be eliminated.

Bud Light was supplanted as the top-selling beer in May by Modelo Especial after backlash from both conservatives and pro-LGBTQ+ advocates led to boycotts and viral videos of people destroying or dumping their Bud Light beer in protest, as well as criticism for not supporting Mulvaney enough. In June, Modelo continued to hold the top spot over Bud Light — Bud Light had been the top-selling beer in the U.S. for the better part of two decades prior.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.