Why is the US Experiencing a Topo Chico Shortage?

Why is the US Experiencing a Topo Chico Shortage?

Topo Chico is a sparkling mineral water that has been produced in Mexico since 1895 and was acquired by Coca-Cola in 2017.

Consumers have noticed that, as of lately, there has been a Topo Chico shortage across the state of Texas and beyond. The southern state’s favorite drink has been a staple during the hot summer months, but has been hard to find in grocery stores in the last few weeks. Here’s everything you need to know about the Topo Chico shortage.

Topo Chico is a sparkling mineral water that has been produced in Mexico since 1895. In 2017, the company was acquired by Coca-Cola for $220 million, though it’s still sourced from the same spring near Monterrey, Mexico. The beverage is loved by Texans, who up to this point, relied on ice-cold Topo Chico to find some relief during the summer heat.

But as the hottest temperatures of the year hit Texas, among a heatwave that’s affecting millions of people in 28 states across the country, Topo Chico is nowhere to be found, likely due to a water shortage in Mexico. Coca-Cola has apologized for the Topo Chico shortage, but has not explained the cause of the shortage.

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However, Coca-Cola admitted that there are “tight supply challenges” in Texas thanks to a time cap on water usage in Monterrey, Mexico, according to Market Realist. Right now, the area is experiencing extreme temperatures, a lack of rain and a devastating drought, which has led to a halt in the production of several products in a bid to save water for more urgent uses. 

In response to this water emergency, Monterrey has reduced access to water from 4am to 10am every day, leaving its over 5 million residents lining up for water within those daily six hours. According to an interview conducted by NPR, there are now shortages of drinks produced in Monterrey because the city’s authorities are asking companies that are based there to share their water resources with the local population. But this isn’t the first time Topo Chico has been in limited supply.

The Topo Chico shortage was first reported last summer when a spokesperson told KXAN that the company was facing a temporary shortage of products due to “extremely strong consumer demand” and a “shortage of raw materials.” While the company didn’t disclose what raw materials it was referencing, the glass shortage was likely responsible for a large part of the shortage.

Although reports of the current shortage started in Texas, some social media chatter hinted that it might be more widespread than initially thought. One Twitter user said they couldn’t find Topo Chico in Kansas City, while another said it is missing in Chicago and another user echoed this but for Denver. 

America’s demand for carbonated water has boomed over the past few years, with health-conscious consumers moving away from sugar-laden beverages. The sparkling water market was valued at $29.3 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $67.6 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ten percent. But with an increase in demand and current supply chain issues, there’s growing concern about a potential sparkling water shortage beyond just Topo Chico.