Coca-Cola Vitamin-enriched Soft Drink Pulled From Shelves Over Concerns it Misleads Customers
The Copenhagen Post
January 14, 2009

Two of the country's largest supermarket chains pulled a new Coca-Cola vitamin-enriched product from their shelves yesterday and now the American soft-drink manufacturer is hoping to change their minds.

COOP, which accounts for 37 percent of the grocery market, and Dansk Supermarked, which holds a 30 percent share, pulled the product as it clashed with company policies and was judged to mislead customers.

Coca-Cola Light Plus (also known as Diet Coke Plus) was introduced to the Danish market on 5 January, but pulled from the shelves soon after. It is marketed as a sugar-free soft drink, enriched with vitamins B and C and minerals.

Jens Juul Nielsen, a spokesman for COOP Denmark, said it was against company policy to sell an unhealthy food product as if it were healthy.

'We don't want to give the impression to the consumer that soft drinks are a healthy thing.'

Coca-Cola Light Plus had been approved for sale on the Danish market by food and drink authorities, but both retailers were worried about selling vitamin-enriched soft drinks.

A spokesman for Dansk Supermarked told Bloomberg news agency that vitamin-enriched products are very rare in Scandinavia and there is 'a fundamental scepticism against such products'.

The communications director for Coca-Cola Denmark, Mikael Bonde-Nielsen, told The Copenhagen Post that the company is doing what it can to re-introduce the product and is entering into dialogue with the two companies.

'Market research showed it's a popular product and even niche products are warranted in the market.'

Nielsen said today that COOP would be sticking to company policy and Coca-Cola will 'not succeed in getting it re-introduced'.

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