NEW YORK — Bud Light attacked rival brands in its Super Bowl ads, but it was the corn industry that felt stung.
The spots trolled rival brands that use corn syrup. One showed a medieval caravan schlepping a huge barrel of corn syrup to castles owned by Miller and Coors.
The National Corn Growers Association rebuked the brand for boasting that Bud Light does not use the ingredient.
The association, which says it represents 40,000 corn farmers nationwide, tweeted that America’s corn farmers were “disappointed” in Bud Light, and thanked Miller Lite and Coors Light for “supporting our industry.”
Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Bud Light, responded it “fully supports corn growers and will continue to invest in the corn industry.”
“Bud Light’s Super Bowl commercials are only meant to point out a key difference in Bud Light from some other light beers,” the company said in a statement. “This effort is to provide consumers transparency and elevate the beer category.”
MillerCoors also hit back at Bud Light with a tweet clarifying that none of its products use high-fructose corn syrup. It claimed many Anheuser-Busch products do.
In a statement Monday from Iowa Corn, Mark Recker said, “As a family farmer, I am disappointed that Bud Light chose to denigrate corn in their Super Bowl ad as part of a marketing scheme to attack their competition.
“I am proud of the generations of farmers that grow corn that is used in over 4,000 everyday products from corn fed beef to ethanol to bourbon to makeup. Iowa is the number one corn producing state, and the top crop grown in our country. This attack especially hits home at a time when farmers are hurting due to challenging economic conditions. Corn is a homegrown renewable crop that feeds and fuels my family and yours.
“Please leave us out of the beer wars. Support your local corn farmers by standing with us and choosing products that include corn.”