Due to the recent Bud Light backlash tied to its partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney, Bud Light sales have taken such a hard hit that glass bottling plants have been forced into closure, leading to significant job losses.
The Ardagh Group, a global glass producer that supplies Bud Light parent Anheuser-Busch, disclosed plans to close their plants in North Carolina and Louisiana in mid-July. “There will be 245 jobs lost in the closing of the plant in Ruston, Louisiana… roughly 400 employees losing their jobs at the glass bottling plant in Wilson, North Carolina,” the report states.
The company attributed the closures to a “Multi-year Performance Optimization Program.” However, inside information suggests that the Bud Light boycott plays a significant role in the decision.
James Munhall, a journeyman machine repair mechanic, noted that production had dropped significantly since April, which he connected to the “Bud Light situation.” Similarly, an internal memo from the Wilson plant manager dated May 18 confirmed: “Due to slow sales with Anheuser Inbev,” two of the factory’s production lines would be shutting down.
David Williams, a machine repair mechanic, further clarified the link between the plummeting Bud Light sales and the plant closure. “Because of Budweiser no longer selling the bottles, they no longer needed our product,” he stated. Multiple employees confirmed that a significant portion of the factory’s business was tied to producing bottles for Budweiser and Bud Light.
The controversy began gaining traction in April after Mulvaney’s video announcing the collaboration went public. “Workers at both bottling plants have reportedly noticed decreased production,” as Fox News reported.
However, some speculate that the Bud Light controversy is not solely to blame. Munhall suggested, “Personally, I don’t believe this is all a Bud Light thing, I believe it’s the industry itself.” This statement correlates with the Ardagh’s CEO’s announcement in a February earnings call, stating that fourth-quarter earnings in North America were down 9%.
Despite these differing perspectives, the facts remain daunting: “The beer brand saw its sales drop 28.5 percent in the week ending June 17,” reported The Daily Mail. The Bud Light controversy has indisputably been a costly mistake for Anheuser-Busch, leading to billions of dollars lost in market value and severe repercussions for connected companies and workers.