A tall can of Bud Light sits in the seats during the the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Guardians game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 31, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland.
A tall can of Bud Light sits in the seats during the the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Guardians game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 31, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland.© Rob Carr/Getty

Bud Light sales are entering a critical phase for its future success, warned Anheuser-Busch's former President of Sales and Distribution Anson Frericks.

Conservatives have launched a boycott against Bud Light and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, over a collaboration between the beer brand and Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender content creator, in which the beer brand sent Mulvaney a commemorative beer can with her face on it to mark the one-year anniversary of her gender transition. Boycotters have accused the company of "going woke" for supporting the LGBTQ+ community though others have dismissed these boycott calls as transphobic.

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Regardless, these protests are appearing to affect the company's bottom line. Bud Light stocks have dropped nearly 30 percent in value since boycott calls began in April, and videos of unsold Bud Light cans have dotted the internet in recent weeks.

Frericks warned in a recent interview with The Daily Mail that Bud Light may have only a matter of months to increase its sales, as many retailers "reset" how much shelf space they allocate to a product in September based on sales data from April to July.

This means that stores could allocate Bud Light's shelf space to its competitors including Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Yuengling, he warned.

"Those brands will have a better likelihood to succeed longer term, because they have more shelf space, they have more inventory, they have more back-stock, and they have more availability for consumers," Frericks said.

Newsweek reached out to Anheuser-Busch for comment via email.

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Frericks said Anheuser-Busch needs to "figure out a strategy."

"It needs to make a statement about who their customers are and who they're going to serve now, and try and regain those customers now in June and July, because by time it's August, September, it's too late,' he said.

Frericks has been critical of how his former employer has handled the controversy, previously telling Fox News that he does not believe the "traditionally apolitical brand" collaborating with Mulvaney left anybody happy.

"That's the bet they [Anheuser-Busch] are making. I think that's the wrong bet to make and I think now is the time to go back... to say that 'hey, moving forward, for brands like Bud Light, we're not going to be political. We're not going to get involved in the environmental social governance movement,' because that's not what the customer wants," he said on Fox News in April.

Bud Light isn't the only brand targeted by conservatives in recent months. Right-wingers have called for protests against several other companies over their support of the LGBTQ+ community and their diversity, equity and inclusion commitments. Some of these companies include TargetStarbucks and Chick-fil-A.