Mexican Coca-Cola makes inroads north of the border
More consumers in the United States are cluing in to a secret that immigrants, Mexican Americans and ardent foodies have known for years: Mexican-made Coca-Cola is said to taste better than U.S.-made Coke. The cited reason? Mexican Coca-Cola still uses cane sugar as its main sweetener, while U.S. Coca-Cola is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
The drink is popular among Mexican Americans and migrants yearning for a fizzy and familiar taste from south of the border, and among foodies who insist that the taste difference is evident, despite a stated position by Coca-Cola's international headquarters that no difference can be discerned. Additionally, Mexican Coke is still usually bottled in glass, contributing to what some consider an authenticity factor that U.S. Coke loses when it comes in plastic or aluminum.
According to Daily Finance, in 2005, a Coca-Cola bottler in Texas started a pilot program to import Mexican Coke into the state. In 2006, Mexican Coke muscled its way into California, and in 2009, into Florida, Georgia, and several other states.
The result? Blogs and food websites raving about the crisp, more "natural" taste of Mexican Coke compared with U.S. Coke, and plenty of Facebook chatter.
One fan of Mexican Coca-Cola on Facebook recently wrote: "We sell Coke with real sugar at my cigar shop by the bottle and I can't keep it in stock it's so popular! I don't like calling it Mexican Coke because it's just real old school Coke -- like when I was a kid."
-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City
Photo: A bottle of Mexican-made Coca-Cola.