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Published on April 11th, 2017

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Bud Light’s Lime-A-Rita

Margarita season is near. But a word of caution for those who will seek a skinny alternative: One light beer brand’s margarita offering may not be as low in calories or carbohydrates as you think.

Despite its name, an 8-ounce can of Bud Light Lime-A-Rita contains double the amount of calories and more than four times as many carbs as a 12-ounce can of Bud Light. These nutritional values, 220 calories and 29.1 grams, approach and in some cases exceed the amount of calories and carbs in some restaurant chains’ regular margaritas. Red Lobster, for example, offers seven margaritas that have less than 220 calories.

Bud Light Lime-A-Rita was the second-best selling new product for Anheuser-Busch when it launched in 2012, according to CNBC. Since then, two things have happened. A class-action lawsuit accused Anheuser-Busch of misrepresenting Bud Light Lime-A-Rita and other “Rita” drinks as low-calorie and low-carb when they actually contained significantly more calories and carbs than any other Anheuser-Busch alcoholic beverage. (In a last-ditch effort to save the lawsuit, which was dismissed in June 2015, plaintiffs’ attorneys recently filed a petition for a rehearing at the appellate level.) And the Bud Light logo on the can has been made far less prominent:

TINA.org asked Anheuser-Busch if the lawsuit had anything to do with the diminished Bud Light logo. An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said in response to our inquiry:

We have always been transparent and informative with our consumers, and nutritional information is plainly stated on the labels of all of the Bud Light Lime-A-Rita. We welcome the court’s recent ruling that no reasonable consumer could be misled by this packaging, affirming the District Court’s ruling.

Side note: While current packaging claims Bud Light Lime-A-Rita is a “classic margarita,” according to Bloomberg News it’s missing a classic ingredient: tequila.

Find more of our coverage on alcohol here.

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