During Super Bowl LIII, Bud Light ran multiple ads focusing on the fact that competitors Coors Light and Miller Lite are brewed using corn syrup while Bud Light is not. On February 5, Miller Lite ran a full-page ad in The New York Times in response to the Super Bowl advertisements. The ad says that Miller Lite fully embraces their use of corn syrup in brewing — and that this choice isn’t as bad as viewers of the Super Bowl ad might be led to think.
“You may have seen an ad on the Big Game going to great lengths to explain that Miller Lite is brewed with ‘corn syrup,’ while Bud Light is not,” the ad reads. “That’s a fact.”
Rather than making the beer less healthy or flavorful, the ad claims that corn syrup “helps make Miller Lite taste so great.” Corn syrup is used during fermentation, since yeast requires a sugar to break down and ferment. And in fact, zero corn syrup remains in the beer once it’s bottled. And on top of all of that, there’s a very important distinction to be made between corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup. Miller Lite does not use the latter for brewing.
Miller Lite clapped back at Bud Light’s public call-out by saying “a majority of American beer drinkers agree that Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Light.” They thanked Bud Light for sparking the #corntroversy, saying “it allows us to clarify the truth and remind beer drinkers that Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Light with fewer calories and half the carbs.”
Meanwhile, Bud Light is receiving negative responses from all over Twitter, too. Corn farmers are peeved that they “chose to denigrate corn.”
Other supporters of corn agriculture are swearing off Bud Light for good.
When asked previously about the Super Bowl ads that ran for Bud Light, an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson told The Daily Meal, “We fully support corn growers and will continue to invest in the corn industry.” Additionally, the commercials were meant to point out the difference between the beers. “We don’t have anything against corn syrup,” they said, “we just don’t use it in Bud Light.” The ads ran as part of Bud Light’s focus on transparency, which is also the drive behind their decision to list ingredients and nutritional information on the packaging. The Daily Meal has reached out to Bud Light for comment on the Miller Lite ad.
Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors are long-time competitors that have been around for decades. Speaking of which, you won't believe how much the price of beer has changed since the year you were born.