This is how coronavirus could affect Diet Coke production

Diet Coke production could be impacted by coronavirus

The widespread reports of coronavirus in the United States and abroad have put travelers and stateside dwellers in a state of alert. Beyond the health concerns, now there’s a threat to one of America’s favorite beverages: Diet Coke.

President Donald Trump addressed the U.S. on Wednesday night about the emerging spread of COVID-19, which has ballooned to more than 81,000 cases across the globe. During his address, Trump said he didn’t see the spread of the virus in America as “inevitable,” but several experts have warned otherwise. As of Wednesday, more than 2,700 people had died as a result of the virus in 41 countries.

As the cases climbed, Coca-Cola officials announced this week that the company was “experiencing delays in production and export” of the soda’s sweeteners, which are sourced out of China and used in many popular products, including Diet Coke, due to the spread of coronavirus.

The principal sweeteners used in Coca-Cola products are aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate and steviol glycosides. Those are readily available. However,  the company purchases sucralose from suppliers in the United States and China.

In its annual report Monday, the company noted the virus will delay the supply in the short term, and it was unclear how the epidemic would affect the company’s bottom line during the year.

"As a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, beginning in January 2020, our suppliers in China have experienced some delays in the production and export of these ingredients," according to the company statement.  "We have initiated contingency supply plans and do not foresee a short-term impact due to these delays. However, we may see tighter supplies of some of these ingredients in the longer term should production or export operations in China deteriorate."

Nigel Green, CEO of financial advisory company deVere Group, told Business Insider that the widespread economic implications of the virus would soon be apparent for international business entrepreneurs.

“Investors have largely been caught off guard by the serious and far-reaching economic consequence of the coronavirus," Green said. “Clearly, this will hit global supply chains, economies across the world and ultimately government coffers, too.”