Mexican Coke

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Mexican Coke
Mexican Coca-Cola logo.png
Bottle of imported Mexican Coca-Cola
Product typeCola
OwnerThe Coca-Cola Company
Introduced1921; 101 years ago (1921)

In the United States and Canada, Mexican Coca-Cola, or Mexican Coke (Spanish: Coca Cola de Vidrio, English: Glass Coca-Cola, or Coca-Cola in a glass bottle) or, informally, "Mexicoke",[1] refers to Coca-Cola produced in and imported from Mexico.[2] Mexican Coca-Cola has become popular in the United States due to its characteristic flavor, which results from being made with cane sugar instead of the high-fructose corn syrup[3] used in the U.S. since the early 1980s.[4][5] Coca-Cola actually sold in Mexico contains less sugar, with a 355ml (12 ounce) can contains about one-third less sugar than the export product.


The Coca-Cola Company opened its first bottling franchise in Mexico around 1921 with Grupo Tampico,[6] and then Grupo ARMA.[7] Monterrey-based FEMSA is currently the largest Coca-Cola bottler in Mexico and most of Latin America.[8]

The Coca-Cola Company originally imported the Mexican-produced version into the U.S. primarily to sell it to Mexican immigrants who grew up with that formula.[2] Mexican Coke was first sold at grocers who served Latino clientele, but as its popularity grew among non-Latinos, by 2009 larger chains like Costco, Sam's Club and Kroger began to stock it.[2] It is now readily available at most grocery stores throughout the United States.[9]

In 2013, a Mexican Coca-Cola bottler announced it would stop using cane sugar in favor of glucose-fructose syrup.[10] It later clarified this change would not affect those bottles specifically exported to the United States as "Coca-Cola Nostalgia" products.[4]

A scientific analysis of Mexican Coke[11] found no sucrose (standard sugar), but instead found total fructose and glucose levels similar to other soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, though in different ratios.[5]


Mexican Coke is often sold in the United States to cater to both the "nostalgic factors" it evokes and the perception that it tastes different than the U.S. product, which uses corn sweetener instead of cane sugar

Results from taste tests have been mixed. In a tasting conducted by a local Westchester, New York magazine, some enthusiastic tasters noted that the Mexican Coke had "a more complex flavor with an ineffable spicy and herbal note," and that it contained something "that darkly hinted at root beer or old-fashioned sarsaparilla candies."[12] However, participants in a different double-blind test overwhelmingly preferred American Coca-Cola.[13] Participants in taste tests conducted by Coca-Cola and others reported no perceptible differences in flavor between American Coke and the Mexican formulation.[14] In double-blind taste tests conducted in a restaurant with 100 customers and 20 employees, most participants tasted no perceptible difference, however, 1 in 5 said that Mexican Coke had coarser bubbles than those in American Coke.[citation needed]


Mexican Coca-Cola is sold in a thick 355 ml (12.0 US fl oz) or 500 ml (17 US fl oz) glass bottle, which some have contrasted as being "more elegant, with a pleasingly nostalgic shape," compared to the more common plastic American Coca-Cola bottles. Formerly, Coca-Cola was widely available in refundable and non-refundable glass bottles of various sizes in the U.S., but nearly all bottlers began replacing most glass bottles with plastic during the late 1980s.[12] Most exporters of Mexican Coke affix a paper sticker on each bottle containing the nutrition facts label, ingredients, and bottler and/or exporter's contact information, to meet US food labeling requirements.

Adding to the nostalgia factor, the Mexican Coca-Cola bottle does not have a twist-off cap as American glass and plastic bottles do.

New Zealand[edit]

A similar phenomenon exists in New Zealand, where Coca-Cola is available both bottled locally (sweetened with cane sugar) and imported from the United States (with high-fructose corn syrup).[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Phillips, Matt; Ferdman, Roberto A. (November 4, 2013). "A New Tax Might Cost Mexicoke Its Signature Sugar". The Atlantic.
  2. ^ a b c Walker, Rob (October 11, 2009). "Cult Classic". New York Times.
  3. ^ Here’s Why Mexican Coke Tastes Better Than American Coke by Chloë NannestadChloë Nannestad on The Reader's Diggest, Jun. 28, 2021
  4. ^ a b Choi, Candice (November 6, 2013). "Mexican Coke in US will still use cane sugar".
  5. ^ a b Ventura, Emily E.; Davis, Jaimie N.; Goran, Michael I. (April 2011). "Sugar Content of Popular Sweetened Beverages Based on Objective Laboratory Analysis: Focus on Fructose Content". Obesity. 19 (4): 868–874. doi:10.1038/oby.2010.255. PMID 20948525. S2CID 9318555.
  6. ^ Davis, James R.; Davis, Adelaide B. (1998). Effective training strategies. p. 312. ISBN 9781576750377. The first Coca-Cola bottling company in Mexico, Grupo Tampico, with eighty-three years of history, operates a series of gas stations, computer stores, automotive retailers, hotels, and radio stations, and they still distribute Coca-Cola
  7. ^ de Bell, Leendert Andrew (2005). Globalization, regional development and local response. p. 68. Starting out in the 1920s as a small factory for ice cream and soft drinks, the company acquired one of Mexico's first franchises to bottle soft drinks under license of the Coca-Cola Company in the 1930s. In the following decades, operations...
  8. ^ FEMSA • Annual Report 2017.
  9. ^ Ellickson, Paul B.; Grieco, Paul L.E.; Khvastunov, Oleksii (2020). "Measuring competition in spatial retail". The RAND Journal of Economics. 51: 189–232. doi:10.1111/1756-2171.12310. S2CID 216232179.
  10. ^ Baral, Susmita (November 4, 2013). "Mexican Coke Switching To Corn Syrup From Cane Sugar; 4 Reasons Why This Shift Is Terrible". Latin Times.
  11. ^ Ventura, Emily E.; Davis, Jaimie N.; Goran, Michael I. (September 6, 2012). "Sugar Content of Popular Sweetened Beverages Based on Objective Laboratory Analysis: Focus on Fructose Content". Obesity. Krueger Food Laboratories, Inc. 21 Alpha Road, Suite D Chelmsford, MA 01824 USA 19 (4): 868–874. doi:10.1038/oby.2010.255. PMID 20948525. S2CID 9318555. "All of the samples were domestically produced with the exception of the Mexican Coca-Cola" Page 869 {{cite journal}}: External link in |location= (help)CS1 maint: location (link)
  12. ^ a b Sexton, Jule (February 22, 2010). "Mexican Coke Hits the County: A Blind Taste Test". Westchester Magazine. Today Media, Inc.
  13. ^ López-Alt, J. Kenji. "The Food Lab, Drinks Edition: Is Mexican Coke Better?".
  14. ^ Wong, Vanessa (November 11, 2013). "The Mexican Coca-Cola Myth: It's Almost American".
  15. ^ Steward, Ian (June 26, 2011). "American Coke fails Kiwi tastebud test". Fairfax Media.

Further reading[edit]