Coca-Cola pulls Sprite from ‘health-conscious’ Dutch market

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The world’s largest soft drinks company Coca-Cola is pulling its Sprite brand from the Dutch market from next week because of objections that the drink is a ‘sugar bomb’, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday.

The US-based company said it regards the Netherlands as ‘the most health-conscious country in the world’. If the withdrawal of traditional Sprite is seen as a success, it could also be dropped in 100 other countries, Coca-Cola Nederland country manager Richard Schlasberg said.

Sprite will remain available in sugar- and calorie-free versions. Coca-Cola markets 18 brands of its soft drinks in the Netherlands and one-third of the income at its Dongen bottling plant is derived from zero or low calorie drinks.

The consumption of soft drinks in the Netherlands fell to an average of 91.5 litres per capital in 2015 from 102.6 litres per capita in 2011. Meanwhile sales of bottled water are increasing, the FD said.