Mexican Coke, now becoming more widely available in the U.S., is developing a cult following among consumers, The Grand Rapids Press reported.
“(Mexican Coke) seemed so much better,” one consumer told the newspaper, adding, “It’s just not as fizzy or harsh tasting.”
She’s not alone in her opinion. A Facebook page dedicated to the drink has thousands of fans “liking” Mexicokes. Some fans credit the cold glass bottle for the reason it tastes different than regular Coke, while others point to the cane sugar that sweetens it compared to the high fructose corn syrup used in U.S. production since the 1970s.
Genaro Vazquez, who owns a Hispanic convenience store in Grand Rapids told the Grand Rapids Press that the beverage is more popular with his non-Hispanic customers. “They love it. They come for four or six at a time, especially in the summer,” he said. Vazquez sells the beverage for $1.35 a bottle, while some stores price it as high as $2.50.
The search for Mexican Coke is now becoming easier and cheaper. Coca-Cola North America and its largest distributor have expanded its availability from only a few border states to the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest.
Meijer stores have carried the 12-ounce and 16.9-ounce glass bottles of Mexican Coke in the international-food aisle for some time, according to spokesman Frank Guglielmi. “We’re seeing more people look for it,” he said. “It’s a combination of people who like the throwback Coke, and we’re also seeing people who are avoiding the high fructose corn syrup.”
Steve Antaya, owner of Tom’s Food Center in Portland has been offering Mexican Coke for $1 a bottle for a few months. “We’ve been selling the bejeezus out of it,” he said. “More so than regular pop.”
While many fans notice a difference in taste Coca-Cola research shows there is no perceptible taste difference.
Both are real Coke, Greg Galvez, vice president and general manager of importation and commercialization for Coca-Cola North America told the Grand Rapids Press, adding that taste can be pretty complex. “(It) is affected by many things, including the food you consume with the product, the size of the glass, and the amount of ice in the glass, the temperature of the beverage, etc.,” he said.