Sales of Constellation Brands’ Modelo Especial have passed Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bud Light brand in the US for the first time, as the latter continues to suffer the fallout of widespread boycotts.
Figures shared with Just Drinks by Constellation Brands revealed the Mexican lager brand racked up $333m in sales in the four weeks ended 28 May 2023. This compares with Bud Light’s $297m sales total for the same period.
The revelation is likely to be galling to the Budweiser brand owner, which was forced to divest its Modelo US business to Constellation Brands by competition authorities following its purchase of a majority holding in Grupo Modelo in 2013.
Over a 52-week period, however, Modelo is the number two beer in the US based on value sales. Greg Gallagher, VP of marketing for Modelo at Constellation Brands, said the company continued “to see runway for growth” on the brand.
“With the help of our local distributor and retailer partners, Modelo has seen consistent and accelerated growth since Constellation acquired the rights to this brand in the US market in 2013,” he said. “Recent sales data is consistent with its industry-leading growth position as the number two beer in dollar sales in the United States.
“Modelo Especial has become the number one driver of growth in the category with more than 1.5x more dollar sales growth than the second-fastest growing brand in 2022, according to Circana/IRI.
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“We continue to see runway for growth as we introduce Modelo to new consumers through increased distribution/presence at retail, in line with the brand’s momentum in the marketplace.”
The news caps a miserable month for the Stella Artois brand owner, which has seen a reported wipe of $26bn off its market capitalisation as a result of its decision to partner with a transgender influencer to promote its Bud Light brand.
In the two months since the Budweiser brewer sent Dylan Mulvaney a personalised can of Bud Light to commemorate the anniversary of her transition, its shares are down by a fifth.
Sales of Bud Light, meanwhile, are down by almost 30% year-on-year in volume terms, as consumers continue to vote with their gullets over the Mulvaney saga.
Just Drinks has also approached AB InBev for comment.