Your Mexican Coke Might Be in Trouble

Staff Writer
Mexico's new junk food tax might push Coca-Cola purveyors to use high-fructose corn syrup

It might just be your last chance to get cane sugar Coca-Cola.

In an effort to alleviate the obesity epidemic, Mexican Congress recently proposed a new tax reform bill to increase taxes on junk foods and sodas. And, just as Bloomberg's similar soda ban failed thanks to corporate outrage, junk food companies are already calculating the effects of such a tax.

The proposed increases would tax an extra peso (or $.08) per liter of soft drink sales in the country; executives at Coca-Cola bottlers, however, are threatening to get rid of the precious cane sugar Mexican Coca-Cola if costs increase.

Quartz reports that in an earnings call last week, the head of Mexico-based Coca-Cola bottler Arca Continental SAB suggested moving to more fructose, or other processed sugars, since these sugars are cheaper than cane sugar. "That’s a very important part of the savings that we are foreseeing now," another executive noted.

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Of course, other bottlers in Latin America have already made the switch to high-fructose corn syrup; in Colombia you will find Coca-Cola with cane sugar, but in Argentina, the Coca-Cola uses high-fructose corn syrup. Whether or not these potential recipe changes will affect Mexican Coca-Cola exported to America has yet to be seen, but Quartz notes a University of Southern California study that found equal amounts of fructose and glucose (but not any sucrose, or cane sugar) in Mexican Coca-Cola. Perhaps snobby Mexican cola drinkers have been tricked all along?