Fresca shortage in 2020?


Fresca has been nearly impossible to find in stores since mid-2020. Even major retailers who have priority like Amazon and Walmart have been out of stock for months. You’re wondering if Fresca will be back. Is there a fresca shortage in 2020? Was it discontinued?

Fresca may be difficult to find, but it will be back in stock soon. COVID-19 impacted production of Fresca temporarily. Coca-Cola has stated that production is back to normal levels and that it will be returning to short shelves soon.

That’s great news! But where is it?

Where can I buy Fresca?

Fresca is still hard to find in cans. But, there are many retailers that have 2 liter bottles of Fresca in stock. Here are a few common places:

When will the Fresca shortage be over?

The increased demand for aluminum is still causing issues for all beverage manufacturers as of October 2020. As a result, it’s not certain when your favorite canned beverage will be back, including Fresca. In other words, don’t hold your breath for Fresca in cans.

Fresca in 2 liter bottles is readily available. Some people have found Fresca in cans at their local market. If you come across it, buy it! It may disappear and not come back for a while.

Alternatives during the Fresca shortage

Considering how popular Fresca is, there are not many similar alternatives. I could only find these alternatives that have the same combination of full-flavor, sugar free grapefruit:

  • Wegmans Diet Wedge. Wegmans makes Wedge Diet soda that comes in plain grapefruit but also combos with grapefruit. It’s normally available in cans but looks like only 2 liter bottles are available. The four flavors available on the Wegmans site.
  • Diet Squirt. This is probably the closest competitor to Fresca. It was in stock on Amazon in 20oz bottles when I checked Oct 11th, but there was only one in stock.

Other diet citrus alternatives

While they won’t taste like Fresca, there are several citrus-flavored diet sodas that might work for you until the Fresca shortage is over. Most of these are some combination of lemon, lime and orange flavors. They’ll likely be missing the bitter flavor characteristic of grapefruit, but will have the citrus punch.

Shortages affecting beverages

There are three main shortages affecting the Fresca shortage and other beverage manufacturing.

Aluminum is in short supply because of the high demand for sodas in cans. This is because more people are working from home and are buying canned sodas at home. The flip side of this is a major drop in the demand for sodas syrups in fountain machines because many restaurants are either closed or have reduced business.

Artificial sweeteners are nearly all made in China. When COVID-19 started there were some manufacturing plants in China that had to shut down. Most of them have since resumed production, but they are still trying to catch up on orders that came through while they were offline.

Many beverage bottling plants in the US were temporarily shut down at the start of the pandemic. Some remain operating at lower capacity because some workers have not returned to work because of safety concerns. This has caused manufacturers like Coca-Cola to temporarily stop production of some beverages so they can keep up with demand of their primary products.

Other beverages in short supply

One of the hardest hit categories of beverages has been caffeine free versions of major sodas such as Caffeine Free Coca-Cola and Pepsi Caffeine Free. Both of these have been temporarily suspended.

Read other stories I wrote about major beverage shortages:

Other flavors have also been suspended such as Cherry Coke Zero and other less popular variations.

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Homemade Fresca

Here is a way you can make your own Fresca using Sodastream's diet grapefruit mix.

Equipment

  • Sodastream (optional)

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Carbonated water Canned, botted or using Sodastream
  • 15-20 ml Sodastream pink grapefruit syrup Adjust to your taste

Instructions

  • Add syrup to carbonated water.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

This is not really a recipe, but a simple way to enjoy Sodastream’s pink grapefruit sugar-free syrup even if you don’t have their carbonating kit. Simply add 15-20ml of the syrup to 12oz of carbonated water. You can get the syrup on Amazon for about $5, which makes enough for 25 – 12 oz servings.

Fresca FAQ

  1. What is the original flavor of Fresca?

    Fresca launched in 1966 with their original citrus flavor which is primarily grapefruit and other citrus flavors. It's unique flavor made it an instant hit with consumers.

  2. What flavors of Fresca are there?

    Fresca comes in the following flavors:
    – Original Grapefruit Citrus
    – Black Cherry Citrus
    – Peach Citrus
    – Strawberry Citrus
    – Blackberry Citrus

  3. Is Fresca going to be discontinued?

    According to Coca-Cola, there are no plans to discontinue Fresca. It has been in short supply during the pandemic but should be back to normal availability within the next few months.

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