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Bud Light Must Pull Ads Saying That Miller Lite and Coors Light Use Corn Syrup, Judge Rules

Plus, Ikea’s vegan meatball is on its way, and other news to start your day

Anheuser-Busch InBev Eyes Potential Purchase Of Rival Miller Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The latest win in the war between the two biggest U.S. brewing companies

Nearly four months after Bud Light released a Super Bowl commercial highlighting the use of corn syrup in Miller Lite and Coors Light, and two months after MillerCoors sued Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch for it, a Wisconsin judge has granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily prevents Anheuser-Busch from using the words “corn syrup” in attack ads without providing more context.

As a refresher, one of Bud Light’s Super Bowl ads features the Bud Light King, the Bud Knight, and their ragtag crew on a quest to return an errant barrel of corn syrup to its proper owner, first visiting the Miller Lite castle, and then the Coors Lights castle. Neither MillerCoors nor the National Corn Growers Association were pleased with the commercial, or with the rest of the $30 million “false and misleading” ad campaign that MillersCoors accused its rival of running.

Corn syrup and corn sugar are commonly used in brewing as a fermentation aid. Bud Light is brewed with rice instead, but other Anheuser-Busch beverages like Stella Artois Cidre and Busch Light beer are made with corn syrup. Per the judge’s ruling, Anheuser-Busch cannot use ads that describe Bud Light as containing “100 percent less corn syrup” than Miller Lite and Coors Light. But other ads without that kind of language, including the Super Bowl commercial, can stay, leaving Anheuser-Busch “pleased” with the outcome, despite technically being the loser here.

And in other news…

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  • Ikea is fast tracking its upcoming vegan meatball option: the plant-based product will be available in some stores this fall, before going global next year. [Bloomberg]
  • The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the San Antonio and Buffalo airports for religious discrimination due to the exclusion of Chick-fil-A from new concessions plans. [CNN]
  • The popularity and ubiquity of food delivery apps in China is creating a huge plastic packaging waste problem, to the tune of 1.6 million tons in 2017. [NYT]
  • Whoops! A storage company allegedly dumped a woman’s 65 cases of wine due to a credit card error. [New York Post]
  • Suburban moms now make up the majority of the contractors working for major food delivery apps like Instacart, DoorDash, and Postmates. [NPR]
  • Meet the college-educated, millennial “agripreneurs” working to modernize the image of farming in Ghana. [NYT]