Corrections and Clarifications: A previous version of this story wasn’t clear about where the Splenda brand of sucralose is manufactured.
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. Sucralose is used in Diet Coke with Splenda, Minute MaidSparkling, Powerade Zero, Dasani Flavors and other drink offerings, according to Coca-Cola’s website.
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. The soda manufacturer added that it may see “tighter supplies” of some sugar substitutes in the longer term.
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Other artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and acesulfame potassium, are also used to add flavor to Diet Coke, Coke Zero and other drinks without sugar. Splenda is used in some Coke products as well. However, the sweetener is made in the U.S., not China.
In a separate release, Coca-Cola announced that it’s donating to organizations that help people affected by the virus.
The corporation, based in Atlanta, has also taken precautionary measures to protect its workers in China, which includes providing face masks and 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.
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