Mexican Coke has become beloved by many Americans of late. Mexican-Americans drink it because it reminds them of home. Hipsters drink it because it looks cool and retro. Momofuku's David Chang drinks it because he can charge $5 a pop. And a lot of people just think it tastes better, with a sweeter, darker and more root beer like flavor. Indeed, the Mexican Coke Facebook Page has over 10,000 followers. However, with the announcement that Mexican Coke may be switching to high-fructose corn syrup instead of sugar cane, the internet is up in arms over how this might change the flavor of this popular drink. But the truth is, the change will probably have little effect on either the flavor or the sales of this cult product.  

Mexican Coke's taste has always been its biggest draw card. A fan on the Facebook page wrote this recently: "ok umm mexican coca cola is soo much better than any of the other sodas in the world ever created 4 mankind. i have gone to mexico many times and luv the coca cola. its like the reason i go on the trips." Yet according to  Coke spokesman, Scott Williamson, most consumers find little difference between American and Mexican versions: "all of our consumer research indicates that from a taste standpoint, the difference is imperceptible." You may think, that such a statement comes with its fair share of bias, but First We Feast recently conducted a blind taste test and found that half of participants got it wrong when asked which was Mexican and which was American coke.

Mexican Coke's recipe change has also scared consumers for the health implications that having high-fructose cane sugar might have over the more natural sugar cane. However, Latin America has no regulations as to when and how to use sugar versus HFCS:  "Under our agreements with The Coca-Cola Company, we may use raw or refined sugar or [high-fructose corn syrup] as sweeteners in our products." So while it may seem like Mexican Coke is an all-sugar alternative, this may not be the case. Indeed reasearchers from the USC found that Mexican coke had "rather equal amounts of fructose and glucose, results which suggest the use of [high fructose corn syrup]." 

So while you may be concerned that your beloved Mexican Coke is being taken away, rest assured that whatever change happens, its not going to affect the flavor all that much. Nor is the change likely to affect U.S. sales too much: Coke spokeswoman Kerry Tessler reveals "it's a very minor percentage of our total sales."