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The Real Super Bowl Drama Wasn't During The Game, But The Beer Commercials

Feb 4, 2019
Originally published on February 4, 2019 6:04 pm
Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Last night's Super Bowl had the lowest score ever, and it was every bit as boring as that sounds. If you wanted drama, you had to turn to the commercials.

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SYDNEY LEMMON: (As Dilly Dilly Queen) My king, this corn syrup was just delivered.

JOHN HOOGENAKKER: (As Dilly Dilly King) That's not ours. We don't brew Bud Light with corn syrup.

LEMMON: (As Dilly Dilly Queen) Miller Lite uses corn syrup.

HOOGENAKKER: (As Dilly Dilly King) Let us take it to them at once.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Yes, corn syrup. The Budweiser family of products, famous for Super Bowl ads like the Bud frogs, among others, settled on corn syrup for its major push this year.

KELLY: The implication being that corn syrup, used by rival brands in the brewing process, is not healthy. The response on Twitter was immediate.

SHAPIRO: MillerCoors tweeted, Bud Light uses rice to aid fermentation. We use corn syrup. Interestingly, none of our products use high fructose corn syrup, yet several of Anheuser-Busch's do.

KELLY: Big corn, meanwhile, was a big mass of hurt feelings. The National Corn Growers Association tweeted, America's corn farmers are disappointed in you. Our office is right down the road. We would love to discuss with you the many benefits of corn.

SHAPIRO: Corn farmer Kevin Ross wanted in on the conversation, too. He posted a video of him pouring cans of Bud Light down the drain.

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KEVIN ROSS: Bud Light, you're not standing with corn farmers. We're not standing with you.

KELLY: Marion Nestle saw the ad, too.

MARION NESTLE: From a nutritional standpoint, it's absolutely hilarious, and I laughed all the way through it.

SHAPIRO: Nestle is a nutrition expert at New York University. She says that sugar is used to feed yeast during the fermentation process. It doesn't care where the sugar comes from.

NESTLE: From a physiological standpoint in the body, it makes absolutely no difference at all. The yeast can't tell them apart.

KELLY: So why call out corn syrup?

NESTLE: Well, they're trying to say that their ingredients are healthier and more natural than the ingredients in the competitor's beers.

SHAPIRO: So after millions of dollars spent throwing shade on corn syrup, the difference between Bud and others, according to Nestle, isn't much of a difference at all. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.