Mexican sparkling mineral water brand Topo Chico will be acquired by Coca-Cola North America. The sparkling water, bottled since 1895, is the pride of Monterrey, Mexico, and an undisputed favorite in the Lone Star State. In fact, it's so popular that 70 percent of Topo Chico sales are linked to Texas. Its popularity is, in part, a huge factor in the recent acquisition as Coca-Cola plans to utilize Topo Chico to grow its own sparkling water division, providing competition to La Croix.
This isn't the first connection between Topo Chico and Coca-Cola, though the $220 million sale is surprising for loyal followers of the brand. After it became a cult classic in the early 1900s, it was known as one of the most respected beverage bottlers in the country. In 1926, Topo Chico became the first Coca-Cola bottler in Mexico after earning the soft drink franchise for the brand. A few decades later, the brand created a modern plant to bottle only Coca-Cola so that the original plants could focus solely on Topo Chico Mineral Water and its varieties.
It doesn't end there. As FoodBev Media reported, Arca Continental, Coke's second largest bottling partner in Latin America, has been bottling and distributing Topo Chico for the last 30 years. The beloved sparkling water brand will join Coke standbys Dasani and Glacéau Smartwater.
As Matt Hughes, vice-president of emerging brands and incubation for VEB (Venturing and Emerging Brands) said,
"As we accelerate our evolution to a total beverage company, we're investing in brands that are on trend. Topo Chico is a fast-growing brand with a lot of passion behind it and growth runway ahead... Our goal now is to extend its reach while preserving its heritage."
Vice-president of marketing and innovation for VEB, Kellam Mattie, stated:
"It has a rich heritage rooted in authenticity and its community, yet it's approachable to everyone. That's why it's doing so well. Topo Chico has a very loyal base of Hispanic consumers, who grew up with the brand in the US and Mexico, and over the years it has even garnered a massive millennial following."
Topo Chico isn't just a brand in the sparkling water category, however. While it may be trending upwards nationally as Austin, Houston, and San Antonio become huge hot spots for transplants moving into the cities, its loyal following has always begun with both Mexican consumers, and Hispanic consumers in the United States.
The sparkling mineral water will still come from Cerro del Topo Chico and the Cerro del Silla mountain ranges in Monterrey. There's no word on the plans Coca-Cola has for the hometown brand.