Coronavirus could cause huge shortage of Diet Coke and Coke Zero

The world could see shortages of Coca-Cola’s artificial sweeteners after the coronavirus outbreak disrupted the fizzy drink’s suppliers.

The flavourings, from China , may see a shorter supply if the virus continues to wreak havoc in the republic.

Splenda, the artificial sweetener, is used as a sugar substitute for the diet and zero sugar version of the famous drink.

So far the sugar substitutes have been delayed in their import to the US.

“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.

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

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Coca-Cola said the sugar alternative Splenda is a "critical raw material" bought in from China.

A statement released by the drinks giant said the safety and health of its associates is a high priority.

It said: “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.”

It is unknown whether the shortage will affect the UK.

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

In the UK, 11 schools have been closed after hundreds of pupils and staff returned from ski trips in northern Italy's "red zone".

There are fears that Brit students, teachers and chaperones could have caught the killer bug in the country – where 12 people have died – and brought it back to the UK.

Earlier today more than 300 workers have also been sent home from an office block in Canary Wharf, London, after an employee showed symptoms similar to coronavirus.

Daily Star Online has reached out to Coca-Cola for comment.

  • Coronavirus

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