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Is Doritos stock next to face a Bud Light style boycott?

Is Doritos stock next to face a Bud Light style boycott?
Elmaz Sabovic

Bud Light garnered national attention when it faced a significant boycott due to its controversial partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Now, Doritos, a subsidiary of PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), appears to be on the verge of experiencing a similar backlash.

Specifically, Doritos Spain ended their association with transgender influencer Iván González Ranedo, known by the stage name Samantha Hudson, following a wave of criticism. This occurred after the company faced significant backlash for sharing a video on Instagram featuring Hudson, who is accused of controversial statements on family and sexual abuse.

Has Doritos prevented a boycott, or are we witnessing the unfolding of another Bud Light scenario?

How much did Bud Light suffer?

Bud Light attracted national attention when a costly boycott ensued following its contentious collaboration with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Despite surpassing sales estimates in its fourth-quarter and full-year 2023 results released on February 29, Anheuser-Busch InBev continues to face challenges in the U.S. due to the boycott against its Bud Light brand, nearly a year after the controversial partnership with Mulvaney.

A-B reported a 7.8% increase in revenue last fiscal year, reaching an all-time high, but acknowledged that the performance of our U.S. business constrained its “full growth potential.”

ABinBEV revenue change in 2023 by regions. Source: ABinBEV
ABinBEV revenue change in 2023 by regions. Source: ABinBEV

Target as another example

The Target (NYSE: TGT) boycott started in May 2023, sparking a major controversy as consumers decided to cut ties with the retailer in protest. In the second quarter of 2023, Target experienced a 5.4% decrease in in-store sales and a more significant drop of 10.9% in online sales. These declines are likely a direct result of the boycott against Target.

It might be too soon to determine if the Doritos boycott will gain traction and attract attention. There haven’t been any indications of a negative impact on its parent company stock, PEP, which opened trading on March 6 with a gain of 0.08%.

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