A Kenyan High Court has directed Nairobi Bottlers to ensure nutritional information, email address and storage directions are displayed on the soft drinks bottle, including Coca-Cola, Fanta, Krest and Stoney.
The order came after Mr Mark Ndumia Ndung’u, a consumer moved to court, accusing the soda bottler of denying its consumers the information. He argued that that the nutritional information is critical to consumers such as amounts of calories in Coca-Cola drinks in their bid to adopt healthy drinking habits and avoid lifestyle diseases such as obesity.
“It is impossible to consider the benefit that a food or drink product would have to a consumer without considering the nutritional value of the drink,” he said.
"All consumers are equally entitled to access the information on the labels and therefore, there is no justification for having the information in the plastic bottles only, but the company instead uses the available space on glass bottle for brand names in big print" Added
Justice Joseph Onguto in a judgement on Tuesday 30.01.2017 said Coca-Cola’s choice to display nutritional information plus company’s details on their plastic bottles and not glass bottles amounts to discrimination.
Nairobi Bottlers on its part argued that there is no legal obligation imposed on a manufacturer, packer or distributor of soft drinks to display nutritional information and email address on the label of its products.
Moreover, Mr Ndung’u should have first exhausted the mechanisms available to address the matter, before moving to court.
The company cited consumer complaint mechanisms such as the Food, Drugs and Chemical Substances Act, which deal with offences related to non-compliance with the law as avenues the petitioner should have instead used.