If you haven’t heard, there’s a craze for Mexican Coke that’s only getting stronger. The drink has more than 30,000 fans on Facebook, and demand is such that there’s even a web site to help those looking for the sweet drink, WhereToFindMexicanCoke.com. Part of the appeal may be the drink’s retro-style glass bottle, but many claim it just tastes better because it’s sweetened with cane sugar: Coke in the US uses high-fructose corn syrup. So why must we import this delicious treat from south of the border, instead of getting it from our own American factories? This week, Consumerist tried to answer this question, but all Coca-Cola would tell them is that they don’t plan on introducing a non-HFCS version of Coke in the US anytime soon because we already have a sugar-based version: Mexican Coke. Also, the rep claimed that in taste tests, Coca-Cola found that consumers detected “no perceptible taste difference” between HCFS Coke and cane Coke.
There are a few key reasons Coke should consider introducing a sugar cane-based US version, and not just because 89% of Consumerist readers said they’d buy it. Firstly, it would reduce the carbon emissions from shipping those heavy glass bottles all the way from Mexico. Glass is much heavier than aluminum (though readily recyclable) so trucking it any distance is a considerable hit to the environment. Secondly, Coca-Cola reps have repeatedly said that Mexican Coke is a taste of home for Mexican and Latino immigrants. If it’s such a homestyle taste, why not capture that fast-growing market by making the same product in the US?