Malawi face serious shortage of soft drinks

Despite trying to boost its production capacity and continuous strategies on how to satisfy local demand for soft drinks, Carlsberg Malawi has yet again miserably failed to adequately quench the public’s thirsts.

A holding of Coca-cola Malawi, Southern Bottlers (Sobo) and Malawi Distilleries Limited (MDL), Carlsberg Malawi has this time quickly attributed the problem to lack of forex used to buy carbon-dioxide for production.

But inside sources say the group is still struggling to get back a huge number glass bottles being held by the public and that they have resorted to producing one type of drink per day as has been the case every summer.

“It is always sad that a big company like Carlsberg which is only one here in Africa is struggling to meet local demand and yet they want to maximise exports. We don’t have enough glass bottles to offer the public their wide choice of drinks because people didn’t manage the bring back bottle campaigns,” the sources told Nyasa Times.

Economic woes: Soft drinks shortage

The sources said glass bottles are very expensive to acquire and Carlsberg has been incurring huge costs to import them every year but they are not traced back into its fold.

“We could have easily switched to more plastic but with our environmental stand we cannot despite having our own PET plant we just need to convince people to sell us back bottles that they are stocking in their homes,” the source said.

However, Carlsberg Malawi spokesperson Towera Pilling said they are finding it hard to acquire bye-products used for drinks production the main one being carbon-dioxide.

But she was not willing to disclose if indeed the bring-back bottles campaign has worked as most members of the general public were frustrated when they went to sell glass bottles at destinations where Carlsberg directed them to.

Nationwide people have also started to queue up for soft drinks as they are doing with fuel.

It has now become a norm to find shops stocking only Fanta Orange or Coca-cola each day and local brands such as Coco-pina and Cherry-plum have become very scarce as has been every summer for the past 4 years.

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