Fresca Fever: Mysterious Shortage Fuels Frenzy for Beloved Beverage


Sophie Peck

Citrus Sensation: The pandemic has brought many bad things and now there’s this: a massive shortage of Fresca! The drink’s devotees are having a hard time realizing their Fresca fixes as the soda can’t be found in grocery aisles these days. Full disclosure: Fresca is the (glorious) official soft drink of The Warrior Wire.

Ahhh! “Nothing Tastes Like Fresca!” Those who’ve tried the sparkling beverage know firsthand the incomparable experience of slugging back a Fresca. For those who haven’t tried it  — and just WHY have you not tried it? — Fresca is a refreshing soft drink with a grapefruit inspired citrus flavor and has been a staple among Coca-Cola products since its launch in 1966. The zero-calorie and sugar-free drink comes in a variety of flavors and has amassed a cult-like following over its many years in existence. 

In the earlier months of the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone who visited the grocery store noticed the startling lack of food and household items in stock. Paper products were cleared from the racks, and milk and eggs were nowhere to be seen. Although these items are now back to being restocked normally, there is still one product that hasn’t made the same reappearance back onto shelves: Fresca! (What gives?) The realization has prompted a bewildered response among the biggest fans of the drink and has sparked a whole new fierce frenzy for Fresca.

Those most concerned about the fresh beverage’s notable absence dropped everything and conducted an investigation. That’s how they learned about the ongoing beverage-industry-wide shortage of aluminum cans. And this decrease in can production has forced Coca-Cola to make some hard decisions. The beverage behemoth had opted to prioritize the canning of bigger selling brands like Coke and Sprite. For Fresca fans, all this has added up to plenty of unsettling walks up and down the soft drink aisles of Krogers and Publixes across the land. Still, a small but mighty group of devoted Fresca-drinkers have expressed their discontent with the shortage (and rightly so, I might add). 

Fortunately, Fresca lovers need no longer fear as Coke has been working with bottling companies in order to find a different packaging alternative. In fact, this fall Fresca has sported a fresh new look and is making a new debut back on grocery store shelves in a distinctive green plastic bottle. “I love the bottles,” said junior Fresca fanatic Shepherd Crisp. “It’s an absolute win for the Fresca community.”

North Atlanta’s own Warrior Wire staff could not be more thrilled with the re-emergence of the beloved citrus soft drink. The fresh beverage has been a sipping staple within the Wire cohort for years and the drink acts as the light counterpart to Dr. Pepper, the soft drink of choice for staff members of Invictus, North Atlanta’s yearbook. “Fresca is a uniting force among Wire staff members,” said Lucy-Grey Shields, design editor for the student-run paper. “It’s the perfect drink for sipping and for raising hearty cheers of victory as we distribute new editions of the paper to our fellow Warriors.”

So, although the classic cans will be missed – and hey, Coke, when are they coming back? — the new plastic bottles are certainly a cause for celebration. And whether you’re a confirmed Fresca fanatic or still have yet to taste the citrusy goodness, by all means get out there and enjoy a fresh bottle of Fresca!