UGANDA – Crown Beverages Limited (CBL), the franchise bottler for PepsiCo, has inaugurated a US$76m (Shs283.7b) new plant, which is the first phase of a US$90m (Shs336b) expansion project, being undertaken to meet new demand, as well as expand its product portfolio into new and emerging consumer tastes.

The multimillion-dollar bottling plant is located at Kakungulu, Kajjansi Town Council, on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.

The plant was financed by a mixture of shareholder and PepsiCo contributions, and loans from Citibank and Stanbic. The second face of the project is slated to be completed in November this year at US$24 million.

Amos Nzeyi, executive chairman of Crown Beverages, noted that the Kakungulu plant has an installed capacity of 116,000 bottles per hour, with the ability to produce 80,000 bottles of carbonated soft drinks and 36,000 bottles of water per hour.

“We still have a new site that we have embarked on at Kakungulu. The lines have been bought and are to be installed in the under-construction buildings. The buildings will be finished in three months and the two new lines installed starting September this year and will start operating on 1st November 2023,” he added.

The company bottles Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Mirinda Fruity, Mirinda Orange, Mirinda Pineapple, Mirinda Green Apple, Evervess Tonic, Sting Energy Drink, and Nivana Water which comes in two varieties, still and sparkling.

In November 2022, CBL unveiled Aquafina, its new brand of bottled drinking water, becoming the third franchise in Africa to be allowed by PepsiCo International to bottle the Aquafina brand, after Nigeria and Egypt.

“Our products are available in well over 100,000 retail outlets such as kiosks dukas, groceries, supermarkets, restaurants, canteens, and depots countrywide. The company has witnessed continuous growth for the last six years and is currently the market leader of the Ugandan carbonated soft drinks industry,” said Paddy Muramiirah, the Chief Executive Officer.

The company employs up to 10,000 people directly and indirectly across its distribution chain and paid UGX200 billion in taxes in 2022.

Mr. Eugene Willemsen, the CEO of Africa, Middle East & South Asia (AMESA) at PepsiCo, noted that with the growth of PepsiCo’s presence and impact in Uganda, the company was also reinforcing its commitment to its sustainability agenda in the country.

The commitments, among others, cover corporate social investments, the environment, water usage, healthier products with reduced sugar, and reducing the composition and weight of plastics in packaging.

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