Cola


Ethical shopping guide to brands of Cola, from Ethical Consumer

Ethical shopping guide to brands of Cola, from Ethical Consumer


This is a product guide from Ethical Consumer, the UK's leading alternative consumer organisation. Since 1989 we've been researching and recording the social and environmental records of companies, and making the results available to you in a simple format.

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Part of a Sector Report on the Soft Drinks Industry.

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Our ratings are live updated scores from our primary research database. They are based on primary and secondary research across 23 categories - 17 negative categories and 6 positive ones (Company Ethos and Product Sustainability). Find out more about our ethical ratings

 

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Best Buys

as of Sept/Oct 2013


As our ratings are constantly updated, it is possible that company ratings on the score table may have changed since this report was written.


Best buys are Ubuntu Cola, Gusto Organic Sparkling Kola.

Fentiman’s Curiosty Cola is the Best Buy of the more widely available brands.

However, it should be noted that Gusto’s Organic Kola had a particularly high caffeine content.

Although Free & Easy cola scored well on the table, the company did not disclose sugar and caffeine contents to us. We therefore cannot recommend them as a Best Buy at this stage.


 

Cola

 

 

Society’s sweet tooth supported the rise and dominance of sugary fizzy drinks in the 1850s and now poses a national health risk. One in three children in the UK leave primary school overweight and one in 20 adults suffer from diabetes. The fizzy drinks industry has tried to brush aside these health criticisms by offering smaller can and bottle sizes, in addition to using sweeteners instead of sugar.

 

image: cola in ethical shopping guide

 

Colas remain the nation’s favourite flavour with 53% of fizzy drinks consumed in 2012 being cola flavoured.

See our comparison of the sugar content and caffeine levels in colas.

 
 

Company profile

 

The Coca-Cola Company continues to dominate the soft drinks market with its $29 billion business including four out of the five top selling brands: Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite. In addition to its own brands, the company holds licensing and distribution agreements for over 500 drink brands. Coca-Cola manufactures and distributes Monster Energy Drinks throughout the UK. The Monster Energy brand therefore received marks from The Coca-Cola Company and the Monster Beverage Corporation. Coca-Cola also has majority ownership of the not-so-innocent Innocent Smoothies.[1]

Coca-Cola remains the subject of a boycott by the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, with the aim of “holding The Coca-Cola Company, its bottlers and subsidiaries accountable and to end the gruesome cycle of violence and collaboration with paramilitary thugs, particularly in Colombia”.[2]

Human rights complaints continue to be made against the company, with sixteen black and Hispanic production workers claiming they had been forced to work in “a cesspool of discrimination”.[3]

The company also received negative marks for a number of animal rights issues. Several of its drinks (Lilt, Schweppes Orange Squash and Five Alive Apple Five Fruit Blend), were found to contain fish gelatine,[4] and several of the company’s subsidiaries continued to sponsor bloodsports at many of the world’s largest rodeos.[5]

 

See detailed company information, ethical ratings and issues for all companies mentioned in this guide, by clicking on a brand name in the Score table.  

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References

 

1. www.righttowater.info/ways-to-influence/legal-approaches/case-against-coca-cola-kerala-state-india: viewed July 2013  
2. www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12567542  
3. www.cokecorporateresponsibility.co.uk/future-challenges/the-coca-cola-company-2020-vision.aspx  
4. www.coca-cola.co.uk/environment/water-conservation-reducing-our-water-use.html  
5. www.cokejustice.org/?p=703 

 


   

This product guide is part of a Special Report on Soft Drinks. See what's in the rest of the report.

 


 

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