Coca-Cola Co., the soft-drink giant, would reportedly break ground on a colossal manufacturing and supply facility based in north Houston amid decreasing sales of soda in a scenario where Americans have been increasingly shifting away from fizzy, sugary drinks to seek healthier alternatives.
According to sources familiar with the development, when the plant would open in 2020, it will comprise five production lines creating plastic bottles and cans of Dasani water and sparkling drinks, which would primarily cater to the local market. The one million sq.ft. factory at the Interstate 45 and Beltway 8 would be the company’s first factory in the United States since 2006.
Sources claim that amidst growing concerns regarding obesity and soda taxes, Americans are increasingly opting for fruit juices and bottled water over Sprite and Coke. As per Beverage Digest, an industry magazine, in the year 2017, soda sales figure in the U.S. fell 1.3% while bottled water sales grew 6.2%. Pepsi and Coke sales declined by 4.5% and 2% respectively, while Aquafina and Poland Springs grew notably by 2.6% and 2.5% respectively.
Mark Schortman, President, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages was quoted stating that this investment is one of the biggest investments ever made by a Mexican company in the U.S., and it highlights the company’s commitment towards Houstonians.
Presently, low- calorie to zero-calorie drinks constitute over a third of Coca-Cola’s beverage portfolio, Schortman noted. Further, he added that Coca-Cola gave a new name to its diet soft drink last year. The drink was formerly known as Coke Zero and is now renamed as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, and encompasses modified ingredients. The firm has also been marketing the drink to declare that it contains no sugar at all.
Reportedly, last year Coca-Cola Southwest business was acquired by a leading Coca-Cola bottler known as Arca Continental.