Mexico’s new soda levy will tack on an extra peso ($.08) per liter to all soft drink sales in the country. This new tax might cause Mexican Coke bottlers to start using high fructose corn syrup in place of cane sugar, because it’s less expensive. The Atlantic writes, “On an earnings call with analysts last week, the head of Arca Continental SAB said that the Mexico-based Coca-Cola bottler could ‘move to more fructose,’ which is cheaper than cane sugar. Arca Continental’s Francisco Garza added ‘that’s a very important part of the savings that we are foreseeing now.’”
Earlier this year, the Complex Magazine staff did a Mexican Coke blind taste test, and could not distinguish between Mexican Coke and regular Coke. What’s more, according to this Time article, a study done by Obesity journal found that Mexican Coke did not contain sucrose, but rather near equal amounts of fructose and glucose—results which suggest the use of [high fructose corn syrup]. Regardless, if Mexicoke lovers get word that Mexican bottlers are switching to high fructose corn syrup, there is no doubt they will turn their back on the soft drink.
The soda tax is a part of a growing campaign to address what has become an obesity epidemic. The Atlantic reports that over 70% of Mexico’s population is now overweight, and that, on a per capita basis, Mexicans drink more Coca-Cola products than residents of any other country in the world.