Coca-Cola Defeats Lawsuit Against Topo Chico Hard Seltzers
Skip to main content

Join our newsletter for a shot of tequila news and great deals sent right to your email!


More to Enjoy

  • Whiskey Raiders
  • Rum Raiders
  • Gin Raiders

Coca-Cola Defeats Lawsuit Against Topo Chico Margarita Seltzers, Dismissing Deceptive Labeling Accusations


From Lime-A-Rita to Cacti Agave Hard Seltzer, class action suits are sweeping the beverage industry. Coca-Cola just defeated the latest against Topo Chico. (Photos: Topo Chico, Olena Bohovyk/Pexels)

Coca-Cola has successfully dismissed a proposed class action suit that accused their Topo Chico Margarita Hard Seltzers of deceptive marketing.

The dismissal marks the latest in a string of lawsuits that has swept the hard seltzer industry in recent years. Since 2021, Bud Light Platinum Hard Seltzer, Dos Equis Ranch Water and Travis Scott’s Cacti Agave Seltzer have all been hit with nearly identical suits — beverage giant AB InBev even had to pay out $6,000,000 on behalf of its Lime-A-Rita line of mixed drinks.

So why all the controversy?

As with every one of the other suits, the accusations against Topo Chico centered around the absence of tequila.

Plaintiff Kari Warren alleged that the language of “Margarita” and “tequila flavors” misled consumers into thinking the drinks contained actual distilled spirits. In truth, Topo Chico Hard Seltzers are made with a malted alcohol base akin to that of White Claw or beer.


Topo Chico Margarita Hard Seltzer Labeling. (Photo: Topo-Chico)

Though similar cases have successfully gone to trial and resulted in multi-million dollar payouts, the judge found little grounds for the claim.

“Plaintiff attempts to strip the term ‘hard’ of its context, contending that it predominantly refers to distilled spirits,” said Judge Siebel. “That might be so when used in the phrase ‘hard liquor,’ but it is manifestly not so in the phrases ‘hard cider’ or ‘hard lemonade.'”

“Even assuming that she moved to New York right before buying the product, she plainly was familiar with a margarita cocktail, and surely knew that nobody sells a margarita for $1.50,” continued the judge.

Interestingly, Lime-A-Rita lost its 2022 suit based on the exact same verbiage of “Margarita” in its packaging. It’s difficult to tell what played out differently in the case of Topo Chico other than the fact that Coca-Cola clearly wasn’t willing to go down without a fight.


(Photo: The Coca-Cola Company)

Initially founded in Monterrey, Mexico in 1895, Topo Chico has gradually ballooned into a cult hit within the United States over the decades. In 2017, The Coca-Cola Company moved in to acquire Topo Chico for $220 million and has since expanded the brand with a line-up of alcoholic hard seltzers and distilled spirit cocktails.

Read More:

White Claw Vodka Promises to Harness the Power of “Three 30-Foot Waves”

Spliffy Spirits?  In Conversation With the Brand Making Terpene-Infused Tequila Seltzers 

Monster Energy Releases ‘Beast Unleashed’ Alcoholic Beverages, But Experts Are Concerned

Here at Tequila Raiders, we do more than write about current events in tequila. We are the only media property reviewing tequilas and aggregating the scores and reviews of other significant voices in the tequila world in one place. If you’re interested in getting a shot of tequila in your morning email, sign up for our Deal of the Day newsletter

This post may contain affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site. This helps support Tequila Raiders at no additional cost to you.

Filed Under:

Follow Tequila Raiders:

Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.