Die-hard fans of Mexican Coca-Cola, let us ruin your day. On Thursday, Oct. 31, an ominous new soda sales tax hit Mexico. The new levy will impose an extra peso ($.08) per liter of every soft drink sale in the country. In turn, executives of Mexico's soda industry warned that this may cause a shift from the drink's beloved cane sugar to corn syrup.
According to Quartz, during an earnings call with analysts, the head of Arca Continental SAB stated that the local Coca-Cola bottler may "move to more fructose," as the ingredient is cheaper than cane sugar.
The National Soft Drink Producers Association, which includes Latin America’s top Coca-Cola bottlers (including Arca Continental SAB), predicted that the steep soda tax will result in the loss of 20,000 jobs and stocks have already fallen since the bill was proposed back in September.
The Bloomberg-inspired plan comes as an attempt to curb Mexico's growing obesity epidemic, with over 70 percent of the country's population now overweight. Beverage Digest estimates that Mexicans consume about 707 8-ounce servings of soda per year, with the US following close behind at 701 servings.
For those of you already lamenting the loss, Quartz points out that Mexicoke fans might already be guzzling down more high-fructose corn syrup than they think. In 2010, researchers from the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine tested the contents of Mexican Coca-Cola purchased in east LA. The verdict? While the Mexican Coke featured "sugar" under the ingredients, the laboratory results did not detect any sucrose. Instead, near equal amounts of glucose and fructose were found -- indicators of high fructose corn syrup.