Tesco pulls Schweppes from stores after Coca-Cola price dispute

Customers take to Twitter to complain about tonic 'shortage'

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The Independent Online

The UK’s largest supermarket is doing battle with one of the world’s largest brands over the price of tonic water.

It was revealed last week that Tesco has pulled 25 lines of Schweppes from its shelves, including tonic water and ginger ale, while it sorts out a price dispute with Schweppes owner Coca-Cola.

Tesco refused to put up prices on the UK's most popular branded mixer at Coca-Cola's request.

It argued that falling commodity prices mean it should be able to stock Schweppes products at a lower price, according to a report in trade magazine The Grocer.

Customers at Tesco started noticing there was a shortage of Coca-Cola-owned Schweppes two weeks ago:

A spokesperson for Tesco said: “Due to a supply issue, we have had to temporarily adjust some of our soft drinks ranges.“

Tesco is being investigated by industry watchdog The Groceries Code Adjudicator for breaking the code of practice for selling products cheaper than it had agreed with supplies.

Shares in the beleaguered supermarket dropped to a 14-year low in December after an accounting scandal in which it misreported profits £263 million.

It is fighting a war on two fronts as it seeks to improve its image under new boss David Lewis while fending off pressure from discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl.