September 27, 2023

Bicol Express News

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Coca-Cola in “sour” state, shuts down plant in Naga City over “sugarless” syrup

Photo by Lani Penas

Trying to keep afloat on a shrinking soft drink market in Camarines Sur, Coca-Cola takes a leave of absence from the competition as its plant in Naga City closed down last week owing to shortage of premium refined bottler grade sugar.

According to Attorney Juan Lorenzo Tañada, Director for Corporate and Regulatory Affairs of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, about 70 plant employees were affected in the shutdown of the Naga Coca-Cola Plant.

In a grim scenario, Coca-Cola needs an assured supply of at least 450,000 metric tons of premium refined bottler grade sugar to maintain 100% full operation of its plants this year, but the shortage may cause the plants remaining closed until the end of the year.

It was not disclosed how many plants were closed throughout the country, and the total number of workers affected.

Over the past years, the beverage company has to stay afloat in the midst of lower sales volume as Filipino taste for the soft drink has shifted toward juices and mineral water, which have become the preferred choices of consumers.

“This Coca-Cola plant has suspended operations due to the lack of supply of bottler’s grade sugar, as a result of the ongoing sugar crisis,” said a notice about the plant’s closure.

According to Coca-Cola, “not all sugar is the same. Food and beverage manufacturers need premium refined sugar to maintain high-quality products. This type of sugar is not the same sugar that is commonly used in households”.