Health

Mexican Coke in US will still use cane sugar

NEW YORK (AP) — Fans of "Mexican Coke" in the U.S. need not worry about losing the cane sugar that sweetens their favorite drink.

Americans who buy the glass bottles of Coke exported from Mexico may have been dismayed by recent online reports that an independent bottler that supplies the drinks planned to switch from sugar to fructose to cut costs. In the U.S., Coke is sweetened with high-fructose syrup, which has made bottles of "Mexicoke" a sought-after beverage in some circles.

Arca Continental, the Mexican bottler in question, stressed in a statement that it has no plans to change the sweetener for the "Coca-Cola Nostalgia" bottles it exports to the U.S. Those will continue to use 100 percent cane sugar, it said.

The company's CEO said last week that the bottler could consider using more fructose, but that was only for drinks distributed in Mexico. Notably, Arca already uses both sugar and high-fructose corn syrup to sweeten its drinks in Mexico. The ratio varies depending on the commodity prices, the company said in an email.

Arca isn't the only Coke bottler in Mexico. But a representative for Coca-Cola in Atlanta said the U.S. business imports only Coca-Cola sweetened with cane sugar from Mexico. In the U.S., Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. switched to the corn syrup in the 1980s.

Back in Mexico, which has one of the world's highest soda consumption rates, legislators last week approved an 8-cent per-liter tax on soft drinks. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says just under a third of Mexicans are obese.

Follow Candice Choi at www.twitter.com/candicechoi

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