‘King of Beers’ Bud Light Replaced on Throne — Modelo Especial Reigns

Modelo Especial, which recently became the second most imported beer in the United States,
Business Wire via Getty

Modelo Especial has claimed the title of top-selling beer in America.

Recent sales data revealed that it surpassed Bud Light, the industry leader for 22 years, according to data obtained by Newsweek.

Gerrard Kaonga of Newsweek reported:

Modelo Especial store sales topped $333 million in the four weeks ending May 28, a 15.6 percent rise on the same period last year, compared with Bud Light’s $297 million, a 22.8 percent fall, according to Circana/IRI data figures obtained by Newsweek via Constellation Brands, the Mexican beer’s U.S. distributor.

Separate NielsenIQ sales data obtained by Newsweek via industry consultancy firm Bumps Williams Consulting showed ModeloEspecial’s sales were about $341.9 million in the week ending May 27, compared with Bud Light sales of about $298.6 million.

While Modelo may have knocked the beer giant down for this month, Bud Light sales make up 9.1% of the total market in 2023. Modelo has 8 percent of the market, “representing a gap of several hundred million dollars.”

Bud Light’s parent company Inbev relinquished U.S. sales of Modelo to Constellation Brands in 2013 due to an antitrust settlement.

Constellation’s chief executive officer, Bill Newlands, said the quick rise in sales was unexpected.

“We thought that would take a little longer,” Newlands said. “We’ve been very fortunate that it’s gone a little quicker than we had anticipated. But what a great position to be in on the beer side.”

Analysts from Jeffries, an investment banking company, found 65 percent of beer distributors believe the controversy involving trans activist Dylan Mulvaney could affect the brand for up to six months, The Drinks Business reported.

JPMorgan analysts said they expect Bud Light’s parent company to see a 26 percent drop this year in U.S. earnings before interest and tax, the Daily Mail reported.

“We believe there is a subset of American consumers who will not drink a Bud Light for the foreseeable future,” the outlet said.


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