Salty mineral water brand Topo Chico is getting swallowed by the gaping maw of capitalism that is Coca-Cola North America. The water company, which was founded over a century ago in Monterrey, Mexico, has surged in popularity in recent years, especially in Texas, where Topo Chico dominates market share for imported sparkling water. According to Buzzfeed, the purchase price was $220 million.
These two brands actually have some history together: The first Coca-Cola in Mexico was bottled in a Topo Chico facility, and both companies share a bottling partner in Central America. Topo will continue to be imported from Mexico.
Kellam Mattie, the VP of marketing and innovation for Coke’s “venturing & emerging brands” unit, tells FoodBev Media: “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.” Chefs, bartenders, and musicians are particularly fond of the Mexican mineral water, and the New York Times even got hip to that fizzy goodness a few years ago, thus signaling the beginning of the end of its popularity among the tastemaker/trendsetter/influencer community.
Now, Coke will try to place Topo in refrigerator cases where it has never been stocked before. The VP of Coca-Cola’s emerging brands wing, Matt Hughes, explains: “Our goal now is to extend its reach while preserving its heritage.”