Culture

Topo Chico Is Being Rolled Out Nationwide Because Coke Is Trying To Get Into The Sparkling Water Game

It’s safe to say that sparkling water is having a moment. Whether it’s LaCroix or Pepsi’s new sparkling water, Bubly, it’s hard to miss the fizzy drink sensation that has taken over mini-fridges and supermarkets across the country. Now it seems that Coke wants to capitalize on the trend and cash in on fizzy drink craze.

Their secret weapon is Topo Chico, a drink that is sourced from a limestone spring concealed under a mountain in northeastern Mexico. The drink was built on a legend of the thermal waters of the Cerro del Topo Chico, which is where the drink got its name. The story goes that the hidden spring water cured an Aztec princess’ illness. While there’s no way to verify the myth, Topo Chico indeed does come from the same underground spring since 1895.

Coke is rolling out Topo Chico nationally. However, many are asking, will it lose its soul in the process?

Credit: @tictoc / Twitter

While the brand has been mostly known in northern Mexico and a handful of U.S. states, it’s already carved out a niche market that has made it a cult favorite in places like Austin, Texas. Popular for it’s “throwback image” and cool design, Topo Chico has seen massive growth, over the last year U.S. sales jumped 39 percent to nearly $130 million, according to data from IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm.

This could be credited to Coke’s $220 million purchase of the brand two years ago. While Topo Chico was originally owned by Arca, the second-biggest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America, it’s still in charge on bottling the drink in Mexico. The company has also invested close to $42 million into production and operation to satisfy growing customer demand since Coke acquired the brand. 

Many saw Coke’s purchase of the brand as a way for the beverage company to enter the growing sparkling water business or rather match up with Pepsi’s popular new drink, Bubly. Since being launched a little over a year ago, Bubly has been a leader in sales and in growth as the company has put the drink in vending machines across the country. It’s even taken on popular millennial brand, LaCroix. Yet, Coke entering the sparkling water game could change the playing field entirely. 

The purchase of Topo Chico didn’t come without a bit of resistance from long-time customers and locals who love the brand.

 Credit: @topochico / Twitter

Topo Chico has deep roots in the Southwest part of the U.S. and in Mexico. So when Coke got involved, things got a little personal between fans of the drink and the giant soda company. Whether that was due to the increased price of the drink or just simply not giving money to a giant corporate entity like Coke, there was boycotts and some anger from Texans. 

Ramon Maraboto, who oversees the Topo plant for Arca, told Bloomberg that Coke needs to be wary of rolling out the beloved drink and not losing sight of what makes it special. That uniqueness and the original look are what made the fizzy drink so beloved among fans.

“Coca-Cola is aware they’re buying a brand that needs to be taken care of,” Maraboto said. “This brand has its own fingerprint.”

Keeping that mystique and coolness with the drink is one of Coke’s biggest challenges. That’s why the company is doing a small national rollout of the beverage with efforts to preserve some of that Mexican background and nostalgia that many love about Topo Chico. 

“We don’t want to lose that by putting it everywhere,” Chaly Moyen, who oversees Coke’s strategy in the U.S. and Canada, told Bloomberg

Don’t be surprised if you see a pack of Topo Chico at a grocery market near you soon.

Credit: @business / Twitter

Coke sees Topo Chico becoming the new “it” brand when it comes to sparkling water. According to Maraboto, Topo Chico sales in the U.S. could pass it’s own in Mexico in the next year. This is an example of that quick growth and advancement the drink has had in the quick two years under new ownership. 

Even in Pahoa, a town with a population of about 1,000 people located in the southeast corner of Hawaii’s Big Island, the Island Naturals Market & Deli has sold the drink for the past three months. Kai Sorte, the store’s manager, told Bloomberg that the drink is already among its top sellers. People can’t get enough of it and there seem to be no signs of slowing down. 

“It’s definitely picking up speed,” Sorte said.

READ: A Woman Threw A Lowrider-Themed Party For Her Son’s First Birthday And It’s Just Too Much For Our Hearts

WATCH: Singer Cuco Is Teaching Fans How To Make Authentic Enchiladas Verdes From His Abuelita

Culture

WATCH: Singer Cuco Is Teaching Fans How To Make Authentic Enchiladas Verdes From His Abuelita

Tasty / Facebook

Cuco may have become synonymous with dreamy Spanish indie bedroom pop, but he can also make some mean enchiladas verdes just like his abuelita used to make. In a recent recipe video by Tasty, Cuco explains how he got his name. “Cuco came from my mom saying I was crazy, like “coocoo,” cause I was a goofy kid. My grandparents speak Spanish, so they would say I was el Cuco,” he tells Tasty. The 21-year-old singer wanted to show us how to make proper enchiladas verdes because it’s the food he grew up eating, thanks to his mom, and has become one of his favorite dishes.

Here’s Cuco’s recipe, and all the other Mexicanos telling him that their abuela makes it different.

Start with fresh tomatillos, serrano peppers, and garlic.

CREDIT: TASTY / FACEBOOK

I repeat. Cuco does not buy canned or jarred enchilada verde salsa. He makes them like a true abuela.

“If you want your salsa to be spicy, you can up the number of serrano peppers. If you like it more mild, I recommend using maybe like one or just like half a serrano pepper. You can also remove the seeds,” Cuco advises his Tasty viewers. “I personally like spicy, so I put serrano peppers to make it hot.”

Cuco isn’t about seedless salsa verde, y’all. He also reveals that he knows more than just how to make good enchilada verde salsa. He knows the why of it all.

“The reason we boil the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and the serrano peppers, is because we want to maintain the green color. If we were to roast the ingredients, we’d get more of a browner salsa,” he says in the video, casually blowing our uneducated minds.

After boiling everything to your liking, you just blend it all up in a blender, adding water until it becomes the consistency you want in a good enchilada salsa. Then, add the mixture to a pan and saute to bring out the flavors even more. Voila! You’ve made salsa verde. Now, add a thin layer at the bottom of your baking dish.

Don’t be lazy. Fry your tortillas for Cuco-approved enchiladas.

CREDIT: TASTY / FACEBOOK

“It’s definitely worth taking extra time to fry tortillas. A crispier tortilla is more likely to hold its shape while baking and the enchiladas will be less mushy,” Cuco sagely offers like an abuelita would. “After you finish frying your tortillas, you’ll dip them in the remaining salsa. This will make them easier to roll and ensure they won’t dry out while baking,” he added, proving tradition runs deep in this indie artist.

Once you dip the fried tortillas in the salsa, you just to add shredded rotisserie chicken (or the vegan meat of your choice) to the center of the tortilla, and roll.

“We’re using rotisserie chicken here but this recipe is also good if you have any kind of leftover chicken you’re trying to get rid of,” Cuco says, reaching full hay-comida-en-la-casa status at the mention of leftovers.

After you’ve rolled the tortillas, you’ll want to take Cuco’s advice and “be sure to arrange them seam-side down” in the baking dish, so that “they’ll continue to hold its shape and filling during baking.” Top the enchiladas with the remaining salsa verde, and heap plenty of cheese on top. “I go crazy with the cheese. It’s just fire,” Cuco confesses to the outlet. Put it in the oven and broil for 3 minutes. Top off the cooked dish with cilantro and crema to help balance the spices of the salsa verde, and you’ve got yourself Cuco-approved enchiladas verdes.

Cuco thinks its “crucial” for people to try real Mexican food.

CREDIT: TASTY / FACEBOOK

“I think it’s just really crucial to go try Mexican food if you haven’t tried it before because it expands beyond tacos,” he urged Tasty fans. “Tacos are good but there’s a lot more really good dishes in the culture – enchiladas verdes, chilaquiles, tortas, pozole. There’s good food everywhere. It’s good to know where the good food spots are at in your city.” 

Cuco has proven to be a master of both English-language and Spanish-language indie pop music, often gifting us Latino-American Spanglish speakers the gift of Spanglish love songs. We’re even more in love with you, Cuco, given the way to our collective heart is good abuelita food. “I think food really connects people. Music and food are both like art,” Cuco himself said in the Tasty video. That makes Cuco a Renaissance Abuelo.

Watch the full video below.

Enchiladas Verdes Con Pollo As Made By Cuco

Watch as Cuco teaches us how to make his family's delicious enchiladas verdes, made easy with rotisserie chicken and homemade salsa. Follow Cuco on Instagram: http://instagram.com/cucopuffs

Posted by Tasty on Tuesday, November 26, 2019

READ: The Laziest Food Hacks In All Of The Land Would Send Your Abuela To The Chancla

15 Of The Most Tragic And Outrageous Fails From 2019

Entertainment

15 Of The Most Tragic And Outrageous Fails From 2019

When Swedish model Hilla Abrahamson spent her first moments of the year being drenched by a bottle of champagne:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=525824791154393

She really took poppin’ bottles to the extreme.

When this little boy tried to place a couple of rogue water bottles back where they belonged . . . and then this happened:

credit: reddit user tw272727

He was just trying to be helpful!

When Space X’s Mk1 Starship failed its nitrogen pressure test:

https://i.gyazo.com/93a7ec56047fd30a9cf11bd0aedb29cb.gif

Credit: r/Piscator629 | Reddit

Just last month, SpaceX’s Starship Mk1 prototype suffered a major structural failure on its Boca Chica launchpad in South Texas. Looks like the Mk1 won’t make it to the moon (or Mars), after all.

The time someone stamped this on at least one $5 bill:

Yeah…that’s definitely not the White House. Although, let’s be real—even if it was, Trump barely even lives there. He owns a long list of properties, and until September of this year, he listed New York as his primary state of residence. Since then, his primary residence has been listed as Mar-a-Lago, Florida—not Washington, D.C.

When this person tried to get a pentagram tattoo, but ended up repping the Star of David:

Credit: r/iamtheundefined | Reddit

There’s nothing wrong with getting a Star of David tattoo, especially if it holds special meaning for someone. But if your aim was a pentagram . . . well, those symbols mean very different things. At least this person didn’t notice until someone broke the news to her.

Oh, and the time Ariana Grande got the kanji for “Japanese BBQ Grill”—later “Japanese BBQ Finger”—tattooed on her hand:

Poor Ari . . . it’s an honest mistake, and she’s definitely not the only person to get a badly translated tattoo. This whole ordeal was truly an epic saga for the internet, though. In case you missed it: Ariana Grande wanted to get a Japanese kanji tattoo to celebrate the release of her album Seven Rings. But when her tattoo was finished, it quickly became clear that it read “shichirin,” which means is a Japanese-style grill. Later, when she misinterpreted advice from her Japanese tutor and tried to edit the original tat, she ended up with ink that now means “Japanese BBQ finger.” Yikes.

When a street in Brooklyn was mysteriously covered in raw chicken, with no explanation:

BuzzFeed tried to investigate this bizarre occurrence, but still hasn’t come up with answers. Whether the chicken fell off a delivery truck or was placed there as experimental art . . . this was an undeniably epic fail.

When Joe Biden said he wasn’t ready to legalize marijuana, and Cory Booker responded like this:

Joe Biden’s stance on marijuana is seen as a problem by many reform advocates. Not only does the criminalization of marijuana put Black and Latino folks at a disproportionate risk of incarceration, but it can create difficulties for people who require the use of medicinal marijuana products. However, Cory Booker’s response, though it definitely drew laughs, apparently got him in trouble with his mom.

She allegedly responded like so:

“Did you really accuse the vice president of the United States of smoking marijuana on national TV? Did I raise you better than that?”

When this hamster was photographed “eating oats” and “not” engaging in illicit activities:

Credit: r/starrycub | Reddit

Suuuuure.

The time an audience member of RuPaul’s talk show won a ticket to see Paula Abdul in Vegas and reacted like this:

Maybe this woman was uncomfortable being in the spotlight. Either way, please note how Paula is clapping. Please also note how this woman just does not react. Hilarious.

When teens were doing the #KylieJennerChallenge to the horror of dermatologists everywhere:

In response to the #KylieJennerChallenge, dermatologists warned against its dangers. Turns out treating your lips this way can not only produce immediate bruising and swelling, but it can also damage the collagen in your lips and make them even less plump in the future.

When a large, mildly-poisonous snake escaped inside the Bronx zoo:

Did they ever find it? We don’t know.

When the fortune cookie factory forgot to hire a proofreader:

Credit: reddit user Mercury90210

When this Twitter user almost burned down her house on Thanksgiving:

She didn’t even get to calm down with a piece of pumpkin pie! Well, better to burn the dessert than your entire house.

When Trump tried to get away with abuse of power that may end up in impeachment (oops!):

CNN/ Twitter