‘We can beat that 300ml feeling’: UAE raps Coke for ‘cheating’ consumers

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

‘We can beat that 300ml feeling’: UAE raps Coke for ‘cheating’ consumers

Related tags United arab emirates

Coca-Cola has sought to play down a row that has erupted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after the authorities pulled the soft drinks firm’s products from shelves for alleged violation of consumer protection laws.

Arabic news outlets reported that 300ml Coca-Cola and PepsiCo cans were being removed from sale on Monday by order of the Emirates’ Ministry of Economy.

The authorities said that both the multinationals had violated consumer protection rules by cutting can sizes from 355ml without formal approval.

A Coke company spokesman confirmed to BeverageDaily.com that the firm’s manufacturer and distributor in the region, Al Ahlia Gulf Line (AGL), had been asked to remove 300ml cans from the market because they did not display the 1.5 AED (30 euro cent) price on cans.

But the spokesman said that the 300 ml cans of Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta were only available in restaurants, hotels, catering and coffee shops.

‘Fraud and cheating’

They were not distributed to other retail outlets such as supermarkets and groceries, he added.

The spokesman said: “AGL confirms that it is taking necessary steps to comply and to replace the 300ml cans.”

Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the consumer protection division at the Ministry of Economy, told locally based journalists on Sunday that the drinks firms’ can size cuts and removal of price tags constituted “unacceptable fraud and cheating”.

Following consumer complaints about smaller can sizes, Al Nuaimi said his ministry had mounted an investigation, and he added that such cases of deception should be stopped.

PepsiCo had not replied to our request for comment at the time of writing.

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