Costco places ‘star of death’ on Bud Light cases — suggesting it won’t restock beer
2023/07/13

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Speculation that Costco is preparing to empty its shelves of Bud Light stirred after what some shoppers call a "star of death" appeared on cases of the beleaguered beer following its ill-fated tie-up with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Social media users shopping at Costco posted images showing an asterisk — which customers have branded a "star of death" or "death star" — had appeared on the price display above shelves stacked with cases of Bud Light.

The asterisk is thought to be an ominous sign that Costco either doesn't intend on restocking the shelf with the item in question.

"Is it just me…Or am I the only one who noticed that Costco has applied their infamous "Star of Death" on Bud Light being sold!" one Twitter user wrote.

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"For those of you who don't know… when Costco puts an * buy any item. It means it's about to be discontinued."

The Post has sought comment from Costco and Anheuser-Busch.

Social media users have posted several videos and images from stores showing shelves stacked with unsold cases of Bud Light while rivals such as Modelo Especial and others appear to be more in demand.

The anecdotal evidence dovetails with public opinion surveys that found Bud Light to be waning in popularity among beer drinkers in the United States.

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The latest sales figures also show a continuing decline in consumer interest in Bud Light, which is gradually losing market share to upstarts such as Modelo.

Bud Light sales plunged 28.5% for the week ended July 1 — slightly worse than the 27.9% decline they suffered the previous week.

The troubles plaguing Bud Light have had a residual effect on its sister brands in the Anheuser-Busch stable of beers.

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Sales of Michelob Ultra — the nation's No. 3 beer last year — were down by 4.3% in the week ended July 1 while Busch Light sales were down 8.5%, according to the Bump Williams Consulting and NielsonIQ data.

Meanwhile, Modelo Especial, the No. 2 beer brand in the US, saw its sales jump 11.4% during the week ended July 1.

Bud Light's slide was triggered by backlash over social media posts in which Mulvaney is seen touting the beer.

In light of the boycott, Bud Light has tried to use humor in its ads to win back hearts and minds — but to no avail, as reaction on social media has been scathing.

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