In its annual report for the year ended Dec 31, 2019, Coca-Cola noted: “Our supply chain for non-nutritive sweeteners and certain other ingredients for our products includes suppliers in China. As a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, beginning in January 2020, our suppliers in China have experienced some delays in the production and export of these ingredients.
“We have initiated contingency supply plans and do not foresee a short-term impact due to these delays. However, we may see tighter supplies of some of these ingredients in the longer term should production or export operations in China deteriorate.”
Coca-Cola uses a variety of high intensity sweeteners including aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate and steviol glycosides, which “are readily available from numerous sources,” said the company.
“We purchase sucralose, which we consider a critical raw material, from suppliers in the United States and China.”
Its comments came as Coca-Cola – which says China is its third largest market in terms of unit case volume - released a statement predicting coronavirus will have a 2-3 percentage point impact on unit case volume in the first quarter of 2020.