There have been many questions about whether Coca-cola drinks made in Nigeria are safe to drink, whether a bottle of Coca-Cola actually contains ‘100 cubes of sugar’ as once alleged, whether Coca-Cola drinks can be taken with drugs.
So you can imagine my excitement when I got an invitation to go tour the Nigerian Bottling Company, the makers of every bottle of Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Limca, Eva water, Five Alive, Monster Energy drink consumed in Nigeria last Thursday, alongside some other selected Nigerian bloggers.
It was my opportunity to see for myself and for Parrot’s Blog readers how these drinks are made and whether I can confidently advise my household and you, my dearest readers to continue consuming these drinks in crates.
We were not allowed to take photos but I will tell you my experence.
WHO IS NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY? WHAT IS NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH COCA-COLA COMPANY?
Nigerian Bottling Company is one of the world’s largest bottlers of drinks from The Coca‑Cola Company.
In fact, their plant at Lateef Jakande Rd, Oba Akran, Ikeja that we visited is the largest in Africa.
Nigerian Bottling Company is a bottling partner of The Coca‑Cola Company. This means that the Coca‑Cola Company manufactures and sells concentrates, bases and syrups to Nigerian Bottling Company, owns the brands and is responsible for consumer brand marketing initiatives.
Nigerian Bottling Company, in turn, uses the concentrates and syrups to manufacture, package, merchandise and distribute the final branded products to their trade partners and consumers.
Selling more than 2 billion unit cases every year – that’s 50 billion servings – to approximately 180 million Nigerian people, Nigerian Bottling Company aka Coca-Cola HBC is one of the world’s largest bottlers of The Coca‑Cola Company’s brands.
NBC was incorporated in Nigeria in 1951, began bottling operations in 1953.
WHAT ARE THE DRINKS BOTTLED BY NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY?
- Sparkling drinks: NBC claims they are the number one supplier of sparkling soft drinks in Nigeria. They offer a choice of sugared, low sugar and sugar-free sparkling soft drinks in a diverse range of packaging to match people’s lifestyles.
- Still drinks: Still beverages are drinks that have not been subjected to carbonation. These include NBC’s five variants of the Five Alive juice brand in Nigeria, their Monster energy drinks, Ready to Drink coffee and tea. NBC claims they are the number one, top branded supplier of diverse flavors of juices in Nigeria. And are the number two branded supplier of energy drinks in Nigeria
- Water – Water is vital to the health of all humans. NBC offers Eva water, a processed water brand, which is subjected to filtering and purification treatments before being bottled. Eva is compliant with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and is available in 75cl and 1.5l PET bottles. I was wowed during our meeting with the Nigerian Bottling Company when they said they are hoping to beat Natural water and become the number one supplier of water in the world.
HOW HAS NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY GIVEN BACK TO NIGERIANS?
These infographs below say it all.
How much sugar is in your can of Coke?
This was the first question on my mind as we toured the plant and after an intense Questions and Answers session with the Nigerian Bottling Company officials, here’s what I learnt.
Coca-Cola contains sugar from sugar cane. The cane sugar is the same as you would buy in a supermarket to use at home in cooking, in your tea and coffee or in other drinks.
Coca-Cola Classic contains 27g of sugar per 35cl.
While sugar in moderation is fine, too much sugar isn’t good for anyone. So, if you’re looking for reduced- or no-sugar options, you can try these alternatives of Coca-Cola:
- Diet Coke and Coke Zero Sugar. Both have zero sugar and zero calories and are each made with their own unique blend of flavors.
All are refreshing, though. Choosing a great-tasting option just depends on your preference!
Are Coca‑Cola products manufactured in Nigeria safe for consumption?
Yes, the Coca‑Cola products manufactured in Nigeria are safe for consumption in view of the following reasons:
- Risk assessment was conducted to ascertain maximum limits of food additives acceptable in foods.
This takes into consideration the environmental, storage and distribution conditions as well as the shelf life of food products.
- NAFDAC and SON regularly monitor the manufacturing practices of Food industries and conduct laboratory analysis to ascertain continuous compliance with required national standards.
There was a routine inspection conducted at Nigeria Bottling Company by NAFDAC officers in December, 2016 which was satisfactory.
Has the secret formula for Coca-Cola been revealed?
Over the years many have tried to crack the secret formula of Coca‑Cola, but none have succeeded! The formula is kept in a vault at the World of Coca-Cola at their headquarters in Atlanta.