Blog: Chris Brook-CarterWater disaster

Chris Brook-Carter | 22 March 2004

Coca-Cola should be congratulated in the UK for its handling of the recall of around 500,000 bottles of its water brand Dasani, after it was discovered that some samples contained levels of bromate that exceeded legal standards.

The response has been swift and professional, with the company reassuring the public there is no health risk while, at the same time, being seen to take decisive action.

However, the UK Dasani recall comes at a disastrous time for Coca-Cola, which has already suffered terrible press in the UK over the fact the product is "merely" purified tap water and the issue raises two important questions.

The first is how this "contamination" was ever allowed to happen in the first place. Surely a company of Coke’s experience and expertise should have known the legal limits for bromate in the UK, even though they are more stringent than other EU countries. And if they did know, how did the levels exceed that maximum?

Secondly, industry watchers are wondering if this is now the end of the road for Dasani in the UK. All bottles have been recalled and the company's competitors, such as Nestle and Danone, will surely use this as an opportunity to hammer home the mineral water versus tap water message.

"This could damage Coke's ability to relaunch Dasani in the UK as Nestle and other players will likely take the opportunity to remind consumers that they are selling spring water vs. the purified 'tap' water Coke is selling..." Morgan Stanley's Bill Pecoriello said in a research note on Friday.

Interestingly, in interviews on Friday, Coke representatives would not confirm or deny that they would now pull the brand from the market.


BLOG

Indra Nooyi - a bare-footed hippie maybe, but don't call her company Pepsi

I'd imagine the term "hippie" is rarely used in a positive way in business circles. ...

BLOG

Westons competition lands Peter the story of his life

Peter Hardee claims he drinks Henry Westons Vintage Cider because it's just like himself - “nice and mature”....

BLOG

The man with the golden lager - is Bond still working for Heineken?

It has been about two years since Heineken sponsored the 23rd James Bond movie, Skyfall. Remember when the brewer scored a huge marketing coup by arranging a scene in which the British super spy takes...

BLOG

Bowmore a smash hit in royal ship launch

Part of a sainted tradition or a waste of a perfectly good whisky? That was the question some may have been asking when Queen Elizabeth II launched the Royal Navy's newest vessel in Scotland today (4 ...

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?