While Bud Light has been reeling as a result of a consumer boycott related to a promotion involving transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney—parent company Anheuser Busch InBev announced plans to lay off about 350 people last week—Molson Coors’ domestic beers have been big beneficiaries of its rival’s struggles. Net sales revenue in the company’s Americas division increased by 11.5% to $2.6 billion in the quarter. U.S. brand volumes were up by 8.7%, with Coors Light, Miller Lite and Coors Banquet each up by double digits.
Hattersley was quick to attribute the performance to effective brand building and investment over the last three years that put Molson Coors’ brands in a position to win the share shed by Bud Light.
“Over the past three years, our strategy has made our brands demonstrably stronger in 2023 than they were in 2019,” Hattersley said. “We didn’t plan our largest competitor’s largest brand losing volume by nearly 30% during the quarter. If this had happened in 2019, we would surely not have seen the sales benefit that we did in 2023 or even been able to meet the demand.”
Miller Lite, Coors Light and Blue Moon had a particularly strong quarter on-premise (which includes bars and restaurants), with 12,000 tap handles added, about a 10% increase, Hattersley said.
Nearly 20 retailers are expected to give Molson Coors brands more space than they had before, Hattersley said, adding that Molson Coors brands are winning a greater share of in-store displays. A number of retailers have also moved their annual shelf resets from the spring to the fall, “which we expect will make some portion of the current trend structural,” Hattersley said.