The Coca-Cola Company is set to open a $106m site in China’s Hebei province and says its bottling activities across five provinces although it to meet ‘increasingly diversified’ consumer needs.
The investment forms part of a $4bn investment plan for 2012-2014, and Coke CEO Muhtar Kent says the new plant in Shijiazhuang will help the firm “create a lasting positive impact in the community and contribute to a sustainable future for the people of Hebei”.
With a population of 72m+ and a per capita GDP of $5,259, Coke says it sees Hebei province as one of the country’s most important growth markets.
2.4bn+ servings have been sold annually in the province, which has delivered double digit CAGR for the company since 2008.
Strategic importance to COFCO Group
Coke’s 170,000m2 site will bottle both still and sparkling beverage lines – Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Minute Maid initially – and three more lines will be installed over the next few years.
Coke says its multi-million dollar investment will provide 2,000 jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs in the local community, while the site implements the firm’s conservation and source water protection plans.
“Coca-Cola’s bottling business is of strategic importance to the COFCO Group [China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation is a state-owned enterprise], as it provides consumers with a full range of beverage choices,” Zhang Jixiang, president and COO of COFCO Coca-Cola said.
“Today’s inauguration of this world class plant is a major milestone. Upon completion, it will become the largest of our 12 Coca-Cola bottling plants in China,” he added.