Coca-Cola North America will acquire the premium sparkling water brand Topo Chico, expanding its range of bottled water brands in the US.
The deal, conducted through Coke’s Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB) unit, complements the likes of Dasani and Glacéau Smartwater within the Coca-Cola system.
Topo Chico means ‘little mole’ in Spanish. © Topo Chico
The heritage brand, which will continue to be imported from the same natural source in Cerro del Topo Chico in northern Mexico, represents a welcome addition for Coca-Cola to the premium end of its bottled water offering.
The Coca-Cola system has a long history with the brand: the first bottle of Coca-Cola in Mexico was bottled at a Topo Chico facility in the 1920s, and Arca Continental – Coke’s second-largest bottling partner in Latin America – has bottled and distributed Topo Chico for the last 30 years.
Matt Hughes, vice-president of emerging brands and incubation for VEB, said: “As we accelerate our evolution to a total beverage company, we’re investing in brands that are on trend. Topo Chico is a fast-growing brand with a lot of passion behind it and growth runway ahead.”
It will help Coca-Cola better target a slice of the premium sparkling water category, which is growing in double digits.
Topo Chico is particularly popular in Texas, where it’s a category leader, and the state accounts for approximately 70% of the brand’s US sales. It is also available across northern Mexico, along with other states in the US.
“Our goal now is to extend its reach while preserving its heritage,” Hughes said.
And Kellam Mattie, vice-president of marketing and innovation for VEB, added: “It has a rich heritage rooted in authenticity and its community, yet it’s approachable to everyone. That’s why it’s doing so well. 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.
“Some really clever, honest and authentic marketing has helped speak to many different groups of people. Together with our partners at Arca and Interex [the US subsidiary of Arca], who have brought Topo Chico to people in the US for the last 30-plus years, we’re excited to continue this great work.”
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