IRELAND – US food and beverage major PepsiCo is making a significant expansion in its capacity in Little Island, Cork, which sees the opening of additional manufacturing capacity and further investment in its R&D campus.

The soft drinks giant is nearing completion of a €127m (US$137.30m) expansion project that adds manufacturing capacity to the Little Island facility and is further investing in its R&D campus.

The new facility, which uses state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, reinforces PepsiCo’s portfolio of global brands, including Pepsi Max, Gatorade, 7Up, and Mountain Dew exported to over 100 countries worldwide.

The site will expand the company’s Little Island manufacturing capacity across its wide range of beverage ingredients.

In addition, it will support increased demand for existing PepsiCo products and play a key role in bringing PepsiCo’s innovation pipeline to its global customer base.

Meanwhile, investment into the R&D campus supports beverage development, product research, testing and commercialization, quality assurance, and regulatory management.

Most recently, the R&D campus facilitated the establishment of a global R&D Digital Engineering team, which is leading significant and transformational digital initiatives for PepsiCo.

According to the company, the investment in the campus has employed over 700 professionals across PepsiCo’s contracting and vendor partners during the design and construction phase.

With more than 40 open roles in Cork currently, the site continues to grow and expand, and this investment provides the capability for further growth in the coming years.

“This latest investment in our R&D campus delivers state-of-the-art laboratories for several quality and research teams and a new contemporary digital solutions suite,” said Breda Kennedy, R&D Senior Director, PepsiCo.

“Investment in our business has driven the growth of our R&D team, from just 10 people in 2007 to more than 130 today. This continued investment will further strengthen our ability to attract the best talent across digital, engineering, analytics, food science, sensory, and microbiology.”

At the end of last year, PepsiCo lodged a planning application to Cork County Council for an expansion to its existing production building and associated site at the PepsiCo campus at Little Island.

PepsiCo Ireland started its operations in Little Island in 1974 to manufacture beverage concentrates for European markets.

Then, in 2003, it opened a €100m manufacturing and services facility in Carrigaline, Co Cork. In 2006, PepsiCo set up a regional R&D center and PepsiCo’s Worldwide Flavours (PWF) headquarters in Ireland.

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