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'You Need to Stand for Your Values': Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink Talks Bud Light Beer Sales Decline The company posted a 5.6% decline in beer sales in the first half earnings report of 2023.

By Sam Silverman

Key Takeaways

  • Heineken's sales have declined by more than 5 percent.
  • The brand's CEO says brands must now navigate through the "polarization" in society.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Monday after the company posted a 5.6% decline in beer sales in the first half earnings report of 2023.

"We always knew the first half of the year would all be about the inflationary pressures on our input costs, particularly in Europe, which is an important region to us," he said on the program. "Overall we are quite happy with our strong revenue growth, we grew revenue between nine and 10% in 3 out of 4 regions."

The CEO also said that Heineken, which is owned by L'Arche Green N.V. in the Netherlands, has been taking notes amid Bud Light's recent sales woes.

According to NielsenIQ data, Bud Light beer sales fell by 24.5%, per CNBC, following backlash from the brand's social media partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The company placed the executives responsible for the campaign on leave.

Bud Light is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev based in Belgium.

Related: Angry Customers Boycotting Bud Light Haven't Meaningfully Impacted Sales, Says Anheuser-Busch CEO

"Particularly in the Western world, we do see a lot of polarization in society. And that's affecting all players, all actors in society, also businesses and also brands," van den Brink said during his appearance on Monday.

"You have to be thoughtful, you have to be balanced. And at the same time, you need to stand for your values and your principles. And we try to do that to the best of our abilities," he added. "So far, I'm proud of how our brand teams across our operating companies are navigating this new world."

Related: Kevin O'Leary Slams Anheuser-Busch CEO's Listening Tour, Says It Won't Stop Bud Light Backlash for One Huge Reason

Sam Silverman

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

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