Local alcohol distributer sees drop in sales after controversial ad

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 7:10 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -With sales plummeting, local distributors of Anheuser-Bush products are feeling the pressure. 

Mitchell Distributing supplies local businesses in Mississippi and says these products make up roughly 64% of alcohol sales across the entire state.  Since the recent controversy, Mitchell Distributing says sales are nowhere near what they used to be.

“Bud Light is about 22% of every beer sold in the state of Mississippi, so the decline in sales has been something that we felt, and it’s hurt, and we understand that people have been upset by what Anheuser Bush did. And the thing we want to make clear to everybody is it wasn’t a commercial, it wasn’t a marketing campaign and it wasn’t Anheuser-Busch in totality that decided to do this,” said President, Adam Mitchell.

Local distributors are not the only people that are having issues with Bud Light sales, but one bar in downtown Meridian says they’re down nearly 85% than what they normally are.

“A couple of weeks after the controversy came out that people stopped ordering Bud Light and in any significant quantity for running 5 to 5 1/2 week period, we sold the case of it. That’s 24 bottles in over a month. We’re averaging maybe a bottle a day, and right now, it’s running about 10%. Of someone or the other brands are actually selling,” said Brickhaus Brewtique Owner, Bill Arlinghaus.

Mitchell Distributing has also felt the heat in more than one way in recent weeks, with a fire burning down one of their warehouses.

“We had a fire that caught a metal building that was full of flammables and plastics, and it burned very hot, and the fire department did an incredible job. They moved fast, and they were able to contain it to a piece of our warehouse while big wasn’t mission critical and were still able to move,” said Mitchell.

Anheuser-Bush announce that any distributors that did have any product nearing expiration that the company would buy it back in hopes to alleviate some of the pressure these businesses feel.