FRANCE – Coca-Cola Europacific Partners is expanding its production capacity in France with a €30m ($33m) investment in a new line at its Dunkirk site. 

The Dunkirk site is the newest and largest CCEP site in France with lines producing a range of packs and sizes, covering 10 different beverage brands.  

The site which produces more than 600 million litres of beverage annually uses aseptic production to manufacture still drinks, such as juices, teas and sports drinks.  

A total of 400 people are currently employed at the site and the company expects the expansion to create at least 10 more.  

CCEP France has invested more than €100m ($110m) in the Dunkirk site since 2018. Part of this has gone towards measures to improve its carbon footprint, in line with CCEP’s net zero 2040 ambition and GHG emissions reduction target.  

For example, the site has installed a device for packaging batches of cans in cardboard instead of plastic, and 100% of the waste created at the site is recycled or recovered. 

 The site also runs the Coca-Cola ‘Passport to Employment’ program, which involves 400 young people from the Hauts-de-France region each year, and over 25,000 in France since its inception in 2003.  

CCEP France produces 90% of the beverages in its portfolio locally and has invested €350m ($387m) from 2009 to 2019 to strengthen its manufacturing capacity in the country.  

The additional investment comes at a time when demand for soft drinks is softening in France and across Europe due to increased consumer concerns about its impact on their health.  

In 2022, Revenue in the Soft Drinks segment amounted to US$15,930m and the market is expected to grow annually by 2.62% (CAGR 2022-2026), according to data from Statista.  

In the Soft Drinks segment, volume is expected to amount to 4,881.0ML by 2026 while the average volume per person in the Soft Drinks segment is expected to amount to 74.45 L in 2022. 

Coca-Cola’s investment however shows a company confident about future growth prospects of the market. 

“Coca-Cola has been produced in France for over 100 years and has a proud heritage here,” said François GayBellile, CEO of CCEP France.  

“We are delighted to continue to invest in our operations, to strengthen the local production of our drinks, support our local communities and create additional jobs and expertise.” 

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE