UK – American drink and snack company PepsiCo has completed a £14m (US$19m) upgrade of its Southern Region Distribution Centre (SRDC) based in Leicester to increase the capacity and efficiency of the site.  

The investments saw the building of a new facility with ‘state-of-the-art equipment and technology that will increase the storage capacity at the site by 29%.  

PepsiCo says the investment will enable it to better meet the growing demand for its Walkers brand crisps – previously it relied on overspill sites that required crisps to be stored and transported to other locations.  

With an expanded capacity, PepsiCo can now store more crisps, taking over 600,000km off the road in transportation and achieving an annual savings of over 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide as a result.   

“We’re confident that this [facility] will allow us to serve our retail customers with more agility, while also ensuring the future success of our distribution centre,” said PepsiCo SRDC site lead, Andy Smethurst. 

The SRDC upgrade follows a £24.5m investment into PepsiCo’s Walkers crisp factory in Lincoln which saw facility upgrades to meet growing demand and secure the future of the site.  

Britvic expands US factory  

Meanwhile, drinks firm Britvic is investing £26.9m (US$31m) into the expansion of its Rugby factory in the UK as part of a strategy to secure the future of the site. 

The investment will see the installation of a fourth canning line at the factory to produce recyclable 330ml cans for its brand portfolio, increasing capacity by 18%.  

At least 20 new jobs will be created as a result of the investment, predominantly in engineering and manufacturing, with scope to support apprentices in some of these new roles.  

 “This new, state of the art canning line will be a fantastic boost for Britvic’s Rugby facility which continues to produce recyclable cans for some of our most popular brands,” said Britvic GB managing director Paul Graham. 

“We look forward to using this additional capacity as a platform to drive further innovation.” 

 The first of the new recyclable 330ml cans are expected to be produced this November, with the new line fully up and running in 2022.  

Britvic’s Rugby investment followed a £5m cash injection into a new recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) manufacturing facility in North Yorkshire, as part of strategy to move of its core brands to 100% recycled plastic bottles. 

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