Anheuser–Busch is rolling out a line of camouflage aluminum bottles in an effort to boost sales after its controversial promotion of a transgender influencer.
The company held a meeting in St. Louis last week with distributors to create a plan to counteract declining sales due to boycotts from consumers in April over the company‘s promotion with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender woman. The cans printed with Mulvaney‘s face were said to be for private use only.
In response, Anheuser–Busch is now introducing camouflage aluminum bottles that will promote the “Folds of Honor“ program, which provides educational scholarships for families of fallen and disabled American military service members and first responders, the New York Post reported.
“It’s an aluminum bottle,” a source familiar with the plan told the Post. “I believe it is the only package that will be transitioning, but I am not 100% certain on that.”
Bud Light sales dropped 23.6% versus a year ago during the week ended May 6, continuing its fall from weeks prior. Budweiser and Michelob Ultra have seen less significant declines.
The company is hoping to regain the trust of its consumers through the camouflage aluminum bottles, and also discussed other ideas such as discounted beer, investments in sports betting, and focusing its marketing on country music, military, first responders and farmers.
“It is a shame that Anheuser–Busch had to resort to such gimmicks in order to counter their dwindling sales,” said consumer advocate Sarah Smith. “It‘s a sad commentary on the way the company is handling the controversy surrounding its promotion of a transgender influencer. It certainly seems like they are trying to sweep their mistake under the rug, rather than addressing it head–on.”
Anheuser–Busch has yet to make a statement on the controversy, but many are speculating that the camouflage aluminum bottles are an attempt to win back conservative customers who may have been alienated by the company‘s promotion of Mulvaney.
Whether or not the camouflage aluminum bottles will be successful in boosting sales for Anheuser–Busch remains to be seen, but it is clear that the company is desperately trying to win back the trust of its consumers.