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Modelo tops Bud Light, now the year's best-selling beer in the US

For the first time in two decades, Bud Light is not the best-selling beer in America. Modelo Especial, which is owned by Constellation Brands (STZ), has surpassed Bud Light in year-to-date sales, according to NIQ data, cited by CNN. It comes several months after the Anheuser-Busch brand (BUD) started facing a backlash from partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Yahoo Finance Live discusses the news.

Video Transcript

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: The new king of beer sales here. So new data shows that Bud Light has been dethroned to buy Modelo as a data as of this year, year of date. So right now, we're seeing that Modelo has 8.34% market share in the US at retail locations, like stores and bodegas. And Bud Light's at 8.28% now. That's a slight, slight, slight sort of difference there. But it's the first time that Modelo is taking over for Bud and potentially for the whole year. We'll see. But

Has been the king for the last two decades. So it's kind of a dethroning here. A new-- the guard is changing here. Josh, we've been following this story for a while now. We've seen that in recent trends have been showing that Mattel has been winning in July and August and June. So we're not surprised it finally happened, but I think it's still kind of hard for Bud Light to see that actually happen.

JOSH SCHAFER: To me, the most surprising thing is if you went back to April and you ask me to predict who would pass Bud Light, if this was going to happen, I don't know about you guys, I would not have picked Modelo.


JOSH SCHAFER: I would have picked Coors or Miller Lite, right? And I don't know if Coors Light and Miller Lite or sort of sharing some of the market gain here, because those beers taste a little bit more similar than Modelo does maybe to. But I just found that the most-- I think that's the biggest takeaway for me here is just like I had no idea that Modelo was the next favorite beer in America to begin with.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Is that a light beer? Is it--

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah. I mean, I think it tastes similar in some ways, right? Like--

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: I think it's a light beer, right? I think it's like a very normal lager.

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah. I don't know what the calories are on it, which would be an interesting breakdown when you think about trends.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: A larger point, you're absolutly right, I mean, who would have thought Modelo--

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah. I just like, that was the biggest-- I was like, hmm. I remember when it first happened in the monthly data back in June, I was like Modelo, I wouldn't have thought of that. I like Modelo lime, not bad.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Well, yeah. I mean, you're talking about trends, and I just think consumers may want something different. I've said it before in this roundtable how I think Bud Light tastes like water. Like, there's just no taste. In Miller Lite, Coors Light, they're all the same to me. They just maybe just scarred from, you know, college. Who knows? But I do--

JOSH SCHAFER: Well, that was Natty Light and that taste work, but--

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Natty Light, forget it. But, yeah. And we're seeing liquor become more and more popular. That's gaining market share just as ready to drink cocktails. Those types of things, I think, for convenience purposes. And also, you know, I think about calories. I feel like people are choosing more wisely, I guess, you could say.

JOSH SCHAFER: Well, you referenced the liquor stats. There was from a Gallup poll out today. Now saying 31% of people prefer liquor that's above 29% responding and saying they prefer wine. Now, beer is still leading that with 37%.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: I think as beer is easy.

JOSH SCHAFER: But I think the pickup in liquor to me probably is a core content thing, right? You can drink it just on ice. If you drink the right kind of booze, there's really not that much sugar in it, right? Like, if you're trying to be weight conscious or dietary, right, you can do that with liquor, which is why I think you've also seen the rate of drink cocktails pick up, too, right? And that seems to be if you're Anheuser-Busch, maybe your solution to your problem here is, can you build some kind of RTD drink that gets really popular or sort of get just get into that space, right?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: I mean, just look at the wrinkle here for this story for me always have been the fact that I can't believe the boycott, the controversy, the people who are upset about Bud Light, that's lasted so long. I think that's the staying power of this potential boycott is talking to me like, making me think about like other brands that could be a risk if they do something that alienates a big broad swath of their users.

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah I think a lot of people out there just keep remembering things, right? People don't forget things sometimes maybe as quick as we think that they do.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah. Yeah, right.