Why coronavirus could cause a massive shortage of Coke Zero and Diet Coke

Why coronavirus could cause a massive shortage of Coke Zero and Diet Coke

  • Artificial sweeteners from China could be in short supply if coronavirus spreads
  • Coke’s supply of sugar substitutes for sugar free drinks has been delayed
  • The company said Splenda is a ‘critical raw material’ exported from China 
  • A statement said the safety and health of the company’s associates is a priority 
  • Australia’s supply chain is not expected to be affected 

The US could see shortages of Coca-Cola products after the coronavirus outbreak disrupted its supply chain.  

Artificial sweeteners from China could be in shorter supply if the deadly outbreak continues to wreak havoc.  

Coke’s supply of sugar substitutes used for its diet and zero sugar soft drinks has been delayed.

However, Australia’s supply chain is not expected to be affected. 

‘We have initiated contingency supply plans and do not foresee a short-term impact due to these delays,’ Coca-Cola wrote on Monday in its annual report. 

Coke's supply of sugar substitutes used for its diet and zero sugar soft drinks has been delayed

Coke’s supply of sugar substitutes used for its diet and zero sugar soft drinks has been delayed

Since the deadly bug spawned in Wuhan late last year, it has spread to kill more than 2,700 and infect 80,000, with mainland China suffering the brunt of cases

Since the deadly bug spawned in Wuhan late last year, it has spread to kill more than 2,700 and infect 80,000, with mainland China suffering the brunt of cases

‘However, we may see tighter supplies of some of these ingredients in the longer term should production or export operations in China deteriorate.’

The company uses sweeteners that contain aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate and steviol glycosides. 

Coke said the sugar alternative Splenda is a ‘critical raw material’ bought from the US and China. 

However it’s not known which sweeteners were affected by the coronavirus. 

The statement said the safety and health of its associates is a high priority.

‘The company has implemented precautionary measures to protect employees in China, which includes providing face masks and hand sanitisers; installing temperature screening in offices and manufacturing facilities; and setting up health monitoring mechanisms across the Coca-Cola system in China,’ the statement read.  

A spokesman for Coca-Cola Australia said: ‘We are confident in our supply chain as we have limited sourcing from China and there will not be any impact on Australian consumers.

‘As matter of routine, we maintain business continuity plans throughout the world including maintaining alternative procurement sources in other regions of the world.’

Coca-Cola has predicted its case volume could go down by 2 to 3 percentage points.

Since the deadly bug spawned in Wuhan late last year, it has spread to kill more than 2,700 and infect 80,000, with mainland China suffering the brunt of cases. 

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA

NEW SOUTH WALES: 4  

January 25

  • Three men aged 43, 53, and 35 who had recently travelled to China are confirmed to have contracted the disease.
  • Two flew in from Wuhan while the other arrived in Sydney from Shenzhen, south China.
  • They were treated in isolation at Westmead Hospital

January 27 

  • A 21-year-old woman is identified as the fourth person to test positive for the illness in NSW.
  • The woman, a student at UNSW, flew into Sydney International Airport on flight MU749 on January 23 and presented to the emergency department 24 hours later after developing flu-like symptoms. 

VICTORIA: 7

January 25

  • A Chinese national aged in his 50s becomes the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Australia.
  • The man flew to Melbourne on China Southern flight CZ321 from Wuhan via Guangzhou on January 19.
  • He was quarantined at Monash Hospital in Clayton in Melbourne’s east.

January 29

  • A Victorian man in his 60s is diagnosed with the coronavirus.
  • He became unwell on January 23 – two days after returning from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. 
  •  The man was confirmed as positive on January 29 and was subsequently seen by doctors at the Monash Medical Centre.

January 30

  • A woman in her 40s is found to have coronavirus. 
  • She was visiting from China and mostly spent time with her family.
  • She is being treated at Royal Melbourne Hospital.          

February 1

  • A woman in her 20s in Melbourne is found to have the virus 

 February 22 

  • Two passengers taken off the Diamond Princess cruise ship test positive
  • Third passenger take off the cruise ship tests positive

QUEENSLAND: 8

January 29

  • Queensland confirms its first case after a 44-year-old Chinese national was diagnosed with the virus. He is being treated at Gold Coast University Hospital.

January 30

  • A 42-year-old Chinese woman who was travelling in the same Wuhan tour group as the 44-year-old man tests positive. She is in Gold Coast University Hospital in stable condition.  

February 4

  • An eight-year-old boy has been diagnosed coronavirus. He is also from the tour group where the other Queensland cases came from    

February 5  

  • The case was found in a 37-year-old man, who was a member of a group of nine Chinese tourists in quarantine on the Gold Coast

February 6

  • A 37-year-old woman has been diagnosed with coronavirus from the same travel group that flew to Queensland from Melbourne on January 27

February 21                                                                                                                                      

  • Two Queensland women, aged 54 and 55, tested positive for COVID-19 and will be flown to Brisbane for further treatment. 
  • A 57-year-old woman from Queensland also tests positive for the virus  

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: 3

February 1

  • A Chinese couple in their 60s who arrived in Adelaide from Wuhan to visit relatives are confirmed to have coronavirus.
  • A 24-year-old woman from South Australia has been transferred to Royal Adelaide Hospital

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1

February 21

  • A 78-year-old man from Western Australia was transferred to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth

JAPAN/DARWIN: 22    

  • 15 Australians were among 219 confirmed cases of the coronavirus contracted on board Diamond Princess cruise ship at Yokohama. 
  • Seven passengers who were on board the Diamond Princess then tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving at the Manigurr-ma Village Howard Springs facility in Darwin

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