“Where on God’s green earth have you gone, Fresca?”
That’s what TODAY's Carson Daly asked Instagram on Friday, declaring his adoration and accompanying despair for the citrus-flavored soda that’s been around since 1967. Carson, in a comically impassioned post, expressed his disappointment at not being able to find the soft drink in stores in the Long Island area before his Independence Day weekend trip with his family.
"Anyone who knows me, KNOWS that for more than a decade (back when If you played ‘dead or alive’ & someone offered the name 'Fresca' most would just yell, 'DEAD! Fresca is definitely dead!') but I knew you were NOT dead. I knew you were alive. Very much alive in my glass. I drank you. A lot. Still do," he wrote in what can only be described as a love letter to the soda.
“Today I went to 4 different stores & you were gone. Vanished,” Carson wrote, seemingly addressing the Fresca gods directly. After expressing that his love for the citrusy delight has spanned at least a decade, Carson shared that the soda is a key ingredient in his signature cocktail, the "Carson-ita." The beverage is a scintillating mix of Ketel One vodka, Fresca and a splash of pomegranate juice.
"I can’t survive this week with Club Soda! (No offense Club Soda, I enjoy you too. But you’re no Fresca.)," he continued. " … Maybe I go (Sprite) Zero? That’s the (Blake Shelton)-ita. Nah I’ll just wait."
Thankfully, for Carson, a couple of his TODAY colleagues stepped in to save what could have been a potentially Fresca-free weekend.
“I have the 12 pack you bought when you were at our house,” replied Savannah Guthrie on Instagram. “I will bring it to you.”
Additionally, Tom Llamas gifted Carson with a bottle of Fresca live on the show, and Carson generously shared a glass with his co-hosts. One user on Twitter even offered to send Carson a bottle of the good stuff that they had on hand. Truly lovely gestures, all around.
@lastcallcd this #Fresca is for you. I ❤️ Fresca. Was never a Tab drinker I was always about the Fresca. I remember at the beginning of covid there was a shortage then as well. I had two cases of it that I shared with other Fresca loving friends. @CarsonDaly9 pic.twitter.com/hGSbLfwKmo
— NYCRobyn 📷 (@NYCRobyn) July 1, 2022
If you’re not a Fresca fan, or are just wondering why Carson likes Fresca so dang much, his answer is rooted in nostalgia.
“Its refreshing grapefruit zest, the way it pairs with vodka,” Carson told TODAY Food. “It reminds me of my childhood.”
Carson is not the only Fresca fanatic to notice the possible shortage, either. Other users across the internet have noticed the lack of their favorite blizzard-colored soda on store shelves, with some positing what the possibilities for the perceived shortage could be.
I’m so sad. It’s my birthday 🎂🎈and nobody even cares.. 😥. My favorite pen ran out of ink, The Smurfs got cancelled and I can’t find any Fresca. I’m so sad. I think I will stick my head in a bucket of mud. 😢😢 I always follow back! It’s my birthday 🎂
— Pastor Rob Fleeceman (@PFleeceman) June 18, 2022
“My favorite pen ran out of ink, The Smurfs got cancelled and I can’t find any Fresca,” tweeted one person.
“I get it, there is a weird Fresca shortage,” tweeted another user, adding that when they ordered the citrus soda online, a box of “Fresca sparkling soda water” arrived, which is not what they expected.
I get it, there is a weird Fresca shortage, The only thing available is gross Grapefruit sparkling water in grocery stores. So when I saw Citrus Soda online, that's what I ordered and expected to get. Boooooo pic.twitter.com/MGSDD9KeHg
— Dr Melei (@DrMelei) June 27, 2022
For those confused at the lack of Fresca on store shelves, some may actually be looking right at their beloved drink simply dressed in a new outfit. At some point between 2018 and today, Fresca quietly changed the look of its packaging, recategorizing the drink from “sparkling flavored soda” to “sparkling soda water.”
The beverage itself has appeared unchanged, being described as “the original no sugar, no calorie sparkling beverage” on its website. This might be the source of some of the confusion on whether or not there’s a shortage, especially since Fresca lovers dealt with a confirmed shortage in 2020, early on in the pandemic.
As for Carson's Fresca fortunes in the long-term, that remains to be seen. His pal Jeff, who works at his local beverage warehouse, told him his Coca-Cola contact said there was “no more Fresca until further notice.” We reached out to Coca-Cola, Fresca's parent company, to find out if there really is a shortage, and here's what they said:
"There is not a shortage of Fresca. While we know it can be hard to find right now in some areas of the country, we are doing all that we can to restock the shelves as fast as possible. We love our loyal fans and appreciate their patience."
Seems like Carson — and Jeff — are onto something.
EDITOR'S NOTE (July 5, 2022 at 2:20 p.m. ET): This story has been updated with a statement from a Coca-Cola spokesperson.