- A standard 300ml can of full-sugar Coca-Cola in South Africa, bought individually at a supermarket, should cost you around R10.
- Buy it from a restaurant, or via a delivery app, and you can pay up to R30 for the same product.
- And that same can might have a different price across different chains of the same supermarket.
- A Coke bought at Pick n Pay in the Western Cape is more expensive than one bought from the retailer in Gauteng.
- And in at least one instance, a case of 24 Cokes will cost you more than four six-packs.
- Here's how prices compare depending on how and where you buy them in South Africa.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Determining just how much a 330ml can of Coke costs in South Africa is a more complex issue than it may immediately appear. Whether you pay R9 or R30, or somewhere in the middle, depends on several factors - including where you buy it and even which province you live in, even if you're buying from the same supermarket chain.
The cost of a 300ml can of regular full-sugar Coke in South Africa varies widely - in some cases by more than 250% depending on the nature of the purchase. At the low end of the market, you can expect to pay around R8.83 a can - if you buy it as part of a six-pack from a supermarket. Fall for the temptation of a cold Coke at a restaurant or takeaway joint, or tack one onto an online order with Uber Eats or Mr D Food, however, and you can easily find yourself shelling out more than three times this amount.
Weird Coke anomalies
There are several curiosities that present themselves when trying to determine how much a Coke should cost in South Africa.
Further confusing matters is that the Pick n Pay website reveals that a case of Coke can be at least R30 more expensive than if you buy four individual six-packs - at least if you're buying them in Gauteng.
And if you're a Coke fan who buys your products from Pick n Pay, and unlucky enough to live in the Western Cape, you can also expect to pay a premium over other provinces - Pick n Pay's pricing of a six-pack of 300ml cans is R8 more expensive than one bought in the Eastern Cape.
Responding to this, a Pick n Pay spokesperson told Business Insider South Africa that "the price of the 300ml coke can is R9.99, and R57.99 for the six-pack (R9.66 per can). The cost for a case of 24 is R229 (R9.54 per can)". However according to Pick n Pay's own website, and contact made with branches in the Western Cape, these prices are not true for all stores. A can of Coke at the V&A Waterfront branch costs R11.50, rather than the R9.99 quoted by head office. And R57.99 for a six-pack is only true for some provinces - the Eastern Cape costs R1 less, and the Western Cape R7 more.
There's also little to predict the price discrepancy between the full sugar and no sugar variants at supermarkets and restaurants in South Africa. To make matters more confusing, they are often the same price as single units and yet differ in six-packs. The reverse also appears to be true at times, depending on the retailer.
And if you're really looking to maximise value, a 300ml can of Coke is typically just a single rand more expensive than a smaller 200ml Coke.
Supermarket vs delivery vs restaurants
On the whole, it is usually a sure bet that buying a six-pack of Coke from a supermarket will be cheaper than buying a single can at the same store, which will be cheaper than buying it directly from a restaurant or via a delivery app. But even six-pack prices at a supermarket level differ by as much as 20%.
According to a check by Business Insider South Africa, Massmart's Makro and Game stock the cheapest six-packs of Coke, where you can expect to pay around R52.95 for a six-pack, or R8.83 a can.
Woolworths and Pick n Pay are the most expensive checked by Business Insider SA - there you'll pay R64.99 for a six-pack, or R10.83 for a can, which is 22% more than Makro and Game.
Delivery apps - or buying single cans over the counter at fast food joints or off a sit-down restaurant menu - is, however, the wild west of Coke can pricing.
A single can of Coke ordered via Mr D from an Engen in Tygervalley is about as low as you'll find on delivery apps, at R14.95. Add a Coke to your delivery from Vida E, Rocomammas, Calcacchio, and Panarottis, however, and you'll pay close to double this amount.
The most expensive Coke Business Insider South Africa found on delivery apps was from steakhouse chain Turn and Tender, who is selling a 300 ml can via Uber Eats for R30.
The fluctuations continue into physical fast-food joints and restaurants - prices in-store vary between R13 and R27 a can, or 107% more.
If it's purely cost that informs your Coke drinking habit, and you're set on cans, then it stands to reason that you should never purchase your goods directly from restaurants and delivery apps. And you should skip buying Coke from coffee shops and steakhouses, where you may pay 250% more for the privilege.