Could coronavirus affect the Diet Coke supply chain?

The beverage manufacturer said it depends on suppliers in China for certain sweeteners added to its diet and zero sugar drinks.

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Coca Cola says it doesn’t expect any immediate impact on customers due to China’s production plant shutdowns. The company says it plans to provide more information on the impact of coronavirus in April. 

Coca Cola says it doesn’t expect any immediate impact on customers due to China’s production plant shutdowns. The company says it plans to provide more information on the impact of coronavirus in April.

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Coca-Cola said on Monday that its supply chain could be disrupted in the long term as coronavirus continues to spread. The beverage manufacturer also said it depends on suppliers in China for certain sweeteners added to its diet and zero sugar drinks.

The conglomerate relies on companies in the U.S. and China for a “critical raw material” called sucralose, which is commonly known by the brand name Splenda. Since coronavirus is sickening thousands, shuttering factories and slowing down production in China, Coca-Cola is poised to get the sugar substitute elsewhere.

“As a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 ...our suppliers in China have experienced some delays in the production and export of these ingredients,” Coca-Cola wrote in an annual financial filing. “We have initiated contingency supply plans and do not foresee a short-term impact due to these delays.”

In other words, the beverage manufacturer doesn’t expect any immediate impact on customers.

Still, sucralose isused in Diet Coke with Splenda,Minute Maid Sparkling,PoweradeZero, DasaniFlavorsand other drink offerings, according toCoca-Cola’s website.The soda manufacturer added that it may see”tighter supplies” of some of these sugar substitutesin the longer term.

Other artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and acesulfame potassium, are also used to add flavor toDiet Coke, Coke Zero and other drinks without sugar.

In a separate release, Coca-Cola announced that it’sdonating to organizations that help people affected by the virus.

The corporation, based in Atlanta, has also takenprecautionary measures to protect its workers in China, which includes providingface masksand hand sanitizer.China is one of the world’s largest consumers of Coca-Cola products, the company said in a release.

Coca-Cola said it plans to provide more information on the impact of coronavirus in April.

Read more at usatoday.com

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