Coca-Cola got hit with the strangest discrimination suit in Kenya - and they lost

Justice Joseph Onguto in a judgement on Tuesday gave the giant soft drink maker six months to comply.

A Kenyan High Court has directed Nairobi Bottlers and the mother company to ensure nutritional information, email address and storage directions are displayed on the soft drinks bottle, including Coca-Cola, Fanta, Krest and Stoney.

Justice Joseph Onguto in a judgement on Tuesday said Coca-Cola’s choice to display nutritional information plus company’s details on their plastic bottles and not glass bottles amounts to discrimination

This is after Mr Mark Ndumia Ndung’u, a consumer moved to court, accusing the soda bottler of denying its consumers the information.

“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.

He further argued that all consumers are equally entitled to access the information on the labels and therefore, there was no justification for having the information on the plastic bottles only.

Mr Ndung’u added that the company was instead using the available space on glass bottles for brand names in big print.

Nairobi Bottlers argued that there was 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.

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.

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