Something curious is happening in Metro Manila’s fast-food chains.
In the past few weeks, people have noticed that multiple outlets of chains like McDonald’s and Jollibee have been lacking one very essential part of the fast-food experience: Coca-Cola.
Twenty-year-old college student Nico Martin experienced this firsthand last Thursday when he visited a Jollibee in the city of Manila.
“I was already looking at the [drink] choices they had. [I noticed] that Coke was missing, so I just asked if they had [it],” he told Coconuts Manila.
Turned out they didn’t, but Martin soon found out that it wasn’t just Jollibee that was experiencing a shortage of the fizzy drink.
“The same thing this week when I went to McDo (McDonald’s), I went to Jollibee again, and then Tapa King,” Martin said.
While he was surprised, Martin didn’t bother asking why the restaurants didn’t have Coke and just ordered Sprite instead.
“I just wanted to eat right away,” he said in Filipino and English.
But others aren’t as chill about this suddenly Coke-free turn of events, and plenty of netizens are sharing their dismay on social media.
Twitter user @jackfrost2388 said he has actually noticed the lack of Coke for quite some time.
“I heard they still don’t have coke in mcdo… it’s been more than a month,” the netizen said in Filipino.
Another user missed the Coke floats served in both McDonald’s and Jollibee.
“Mcdo and Jollibee still don’t have coke float,” @abbygamonez said with a broken heart emoji.
@tatiana_shei was pissed.
“So annoying in mcdo earlier HAHAHHAHAHA, ***** no coke,” she said.
@jasminemaganda1 simply asked what everyone is wondering: “Why is there no coke in jollibee and mcdo why why what happened???”
@IamEvitha, on the other hand, shared a plausible theory.
“That’s why there’s no coke in mcdo. Coca-cola has had a reduction in production because of a sugar shortage” she said. And she may have a point.
In May, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, Inc. filed a complaint to the National Economic and Development Authority because local refiners have allegedly refused to sell them sugar because of a sugar shortage.
The price of raw sugar also continues to increase. According to a report by The Philippine Daily Inquirer last month, the average mill-gate price of sugar was over PHP2,000 (US$37.38) for the first time since 2016.
Coconuts Manila went to its neighborhood Jollibee, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s and found out that none of those branches had Coke either even though all other drinks were available.
Annalyn Orcullo, an employee at the Wendy’s in Greenhills Shopping Center, said it was because of a sugar supply shortage, but she didn’t have any more details regarding the matter. She said they have not been advised about when their supply will be restored.
Thankfully, Coca-Cola cans and bottles are still available in supermarkets, so maybe stick to those for now?