Coca-Cola GB pumps £3.5M into Morpeth factory

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

CCE's Morpeth factory, which is poised to get new blending and mixing equipment
CCE's Morpeth factory, which is poised to get new blending and mixing equipment

Related tags: Soft drinks, Water

Coca-Cola Great Britain (CCGB) has announced plans to invest £3.5M in Coca-Cola Enterprises’ (CCE’s) bottled water factory in Morpeth, Northumberland, to tap into a growing category.

The soft drinks giant said the move would support the launch of its US premium bottled water brand Glacéau Smartwater into Europe, beginning with the UK. The product would be made using spring water from the region, CCGB added.

The cash would be invested in local manufacturing, including updates to production lines and the introduction of new water treatment processes at the site, the company said.

New labelling technology

Additional updates to the site, as part of a two-year investment plan, will include the installation of new blending and mixing equipment. New labelling technology to create transparent labels used for the Glacéau Smartwater products will also be introduced.

“The factory already has a proud history of producing high quality water for consumers across Great Britain and we are very much looking forward to bringing another to the market,”​ said Pete Smith, operations director at CCE Morpeth.

CCE would also be investing in its staff at Morpeth, funding a training and development programme for existing employees, said CCGB. The programme is designed to help them develop career skills, which are aligned to the new technology and processes being introduced for the new product.

Bottled water sales

According to figures from the British Soft Drinks Association’s 2014 UK Soft Drinks Report, bottled water sales grew 10.4% by volume in 2013 to 2.4bn litres and 13.4% in value to £1.8bn. Good summer weather, promotional activity and wider choice of formats helped boost growth, according to the report​.

Glacéau Smartwater uses spring water from an underground aquifer, also the source of Schweppes Abbey Well. This is then vapour-distilled before electrolytes are added to enhance taste.

The product is bottled in Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle, which contains 30% plastic from plant-based materials, has a lower carbon footprint than traditional plastic and is 100% recyclable.

Related topics: Drinks, Processing equipment

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