Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
THE Coca-Cola Company and Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited yesterday announced that they would soon return the original Mazoe recipes for all flavours back on the shelves after facing a consumer backlash following reports that three artificial sweeteners were added to the Mazoe concentrated drinks.
In a joint statement, the companies said they had listened to consumer demand and appreciated all the feedback that had been received.
“Today (yesterday), The Coca-Cola Company and Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited are announcing that the original Mazoe recipes for all flavours will be back on shelves in the near future.
“We have listened to consumer demand and appreciate all the feedback that has been received. In order to meet those desires but still provide choice, both the original recipes of Mazoe and the reduced sugar recipes will be offered.
“We stand by the safety of all ingredients used in our products and we’re committed to offering choice to help people reduce added-sugar in their diets.
“Both variants will be clearly labelled, actively encouraging and enabling consumers to enjoy our added-sugar beverages responsibly,” reads the statement.
Several people who posted on Schweppes Zimbabwe’s Facebook website applauded the move, while others said they were now enjoying the altered drinks.
One of them, Ms Cecelia Chivhunga posted: “We fought a good fight people . . . This should be a lesson to all other corporates . . . hatichadi kujairirwa . . .”
She added that delays in making a decision could be costly as some consumers were already trying other brands.
Another customer Mr Brian Derick Nyamushamba applauded the company for listening to the people saying: “The voice of the people is the voice of God”.
Mr Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa threatened to sue the company if he discovers that it has not returned to the original flavours as promised.
“When is near Future? (sic) How are we going to tell the difference? I am not celebrating because you really have to work hard to earn my trust,” read a post by Ms Ruvarashe Maposa.
Mr Nathaniel Mutangadura said it was a great move for the company to pay attention to consumer needs and that consumer education and awareness was important for them to embrace both products.
Mrs Lisa Gangeni-Ndlovu said, “Thank you very much, but you see the problem now is that you have forced me to buy Ballyhouse and I like it. See you around.”
“Hope you have disciplined your Research and Development Department.
“They should have done their part before this mess,” said Ms Tina Chirambasukwa.
Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited and Coca-Cola Zimbabwe recently allayed fears that the ingredients they use to produce beverages are not a health hazard.
This comes after reports that it added three artificial sweeteners to the Mazoe concentrated drinks, which were said to cause cancer and brain cell damage among other diseases if consumed in large quantities.
The sweeteners, which according to health practitioners have the same kind of health consequences as sugar that causes diabetes, obesity and tooth decay, are aspartame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K or acesulfame K) and sodium cyclamate.