If you thought that sparkling water was a trend that would die soon, think again. On Monday, Coca-Cola purchased mineral water brand Topo Chico for $220 million dollars. Topo Chico currently is distributed in 35 states, with almost 70 percent of its total sales in the state of Texas alone.
This acquisition marked a big investment into a trend that has soda consumption at its lowest point since 1985. Coca-Cola already has two sparkling water brands: Dasani Sparkling and Smartwater sparkling. This purchase is its latest acquisition that many think can compete with big rivals like Nestle’s Perrier and Sundance Beverage Company’s LaCroix.
Topo Chico, the prized mineral water brand of Mexico and the Austin craft cocktail scene, has had a long relationship with Coca-Cola. The plant that still bottles and manufactures Topo Chico since its creation bottled the first ever bottle of Coca-Cola in 1920s. Coca-Cola says they have no plans to change the location of its manufacturing in Monterrey, Mexico, nor the brand’s existing image.
“It’s important for us to maintain the relevance with the core Topo Chico fanbase while introducing the brand to new people,” VP of Emerging Brands Matt Hughes said. “We’ll continue to protect the prestige of the brand, which is authentic to its heritage and hip without being pretentious.”
After the announcement of the acquisition, brand die hards took to Twitter to offer their two cents about the acquisition of Topo Chico by Coca-Cola. The most positive comments were about the opportunity to have Topo Chico distributed across the country so that those not located in its sales area could drink the sparkling beverage.
Of course, the cult-like fan base that Topo Chico has was generally disturbed by the fact that their beverage of choice could be “corrupted” with high fructose corn syrup or the recipe changed. Plus, there’s a good old fashioned dose of twitter snarkiness at announcement of the news as well.
I’m fair to partly excited about Coca Cola adding Topo Chico to the family. Yum!!
— Cara Miller (@_CaraMiller) October 4, 2017
What I *am* currently into though is Topo Chico. That is some nice mineral water. Although now owned by Coca-Cola which is a bit annoying.
— Tom Coates (@tomcoates) October 5, 2017
If Coke ruins @TopoChicoUSA I will blow a fuse
— Stefani (@smlawless) October 3, 2017
The official Topo Chico brand tried to quell fears and generate enthusiasm for the merger. Ultimately, fans will have to choose between their principles and taste buds as the ink dries on the sales contract.