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Dallas fave Topo Chico faces shortage

Dallas-Fort Worth bars and restaurants are having trouble stocking the popular Mexican mineral water.

Something is missing of late in the survival kit for high temperatures in North Texas: Topo Chico mineral water.

Dallas-area bars and restaurants this week reported difficulties in finding the popular drink from Monterrey, Mexico.

“We’re completely out of it,” said Ángel Medina, manager of Taqueria La Ventana in Oak Lawn. Medina said the shortage began a month ago.

The Topo Chico fridges in Medina’s restaurant now hold other Mexican drinks, including Jarritos. Meanwhile, the restaurant stopped offering mineral water to its customers.

The Topo Chico brand, founded in 1895, was bought by Coca-Cola for $220 million in 2017. Last month, a Coca-Cola representative said the company was having supply chain issues for its mineral water production but didn’t indicate what the issues were, according to Austin’s KXAN-TV.

The Topo Chico brand, founded in 1895, was bought by Coca-Cola for $220 million in 2017.
The Topo Chico brand, founded in 1895, was bought by Coca-Cola for $220 million in 2017.(Andy Jacobsohn / Staff Photographer)

Supply chain issues also caused a shortage of mineral water at this time last summer, the Houston Chronicle reported.

On some days at the Tex-Mex restaurant Mattito’s on Oak Lawn Avenue, employees have to visit several North Texas stores to find Topo Chico so they can prepare the restaurant’s most popular drinks.

“For some time now, it’s become really popular. It has high demand,” said Adriana Aguirre, 45, a bartender at Mattito’s. “One of the most in-demand drinks is Ranch Water, which includes just tequila, lemon and Topo Chico. People really love it.”

The restaurant did have mineral water in stock on Tuesday, but Aguirre said employees have driven to stores as far as Mesquite, Sunnyvale and Balch Springs to look for it.

“You just can’t find it,” Aguirre said. “It’s been in short supply.”

Tony Salazar, 45, assistant manager at Campuzano Mexican Food in Oak Lawn, said that high Topo Chico consumption makes it hard to find during the summer months.

“You can’t find it even in Mexican stores that usually have lots of it,” he said.

According to Market Realist, the plunge in the drink’s availability this summer may be the result of a general water shortage in Nuevo León, where Arca Continental, Coca-Cola’s second-largest bottling plant in Latin America, is located. Arca Continental bottles drinks — including Topo Chico — that are distributed in all of Texas and parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas, according to the company’s website.

Two weeks ago, the company relinquished part of its water concessions to help supply Monterrey with water, Forbes Mexico reported.

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