Contact: Cassandra Mickens, Coca-Cola UNITED
For Immediate Release
Coca-Cola UNITED Breaks Ground on $42 Million Expansion of Baton Rouge Facility
Baton Rouge, La. (Dec. 16, 2021) –Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc. (UNITED) today broke ground on a $42 million expansion of its Baton Rouge campus. The project includes expanding the existing warehouse, optimizing distribution operations and installing a leading-edge warehousing system that will benefit associates, customers and communities in the Capitol Region and the state of Louisiana.
Coca-Cola UNITED will expand the existing warehouse by 120,000 square feet and install a state-of-the-art Vertique case picking system that features the latest technology in the beverage industry. The system turns the case picking process into a more organized and efficient operation, and puts less stress on associates. The expansion is expected to create up to 15 direct new jobs and will supplement the current 558 jobs that will be retained on-site at the Baton Rouge facility.
“As a Louisiana native, I’m so proud to see what Coca-Cola UNITED is doing across our state. Including our plans for Baton Rouge, we will have invested more than $100 million in our Louisiana operations over the past five years. This shows our strong commitment to the Capitol Region and to the entire state of Louisiana,” said Susanne Hall, Coca-Cola UNITED West Region Vice President.
“We’re so excited to kick off this project. Every square inch of space has been thoughtfully designed and utilized,” said Scott McCallister, Coca-Cola UNITED Louisiana Division Director. “The past few years we’ve experienced tremendous growth at UNITED, and this expansion shows our optimism for this market and the state of Louisiana for the future.”
In addition, new machinery and equipment will support the increased capacity and productivity, including a new generator, recycling equipment, storage racks, forklifts, conveyors, power switches, gears, lighting and fire suppression systems.
Site preparation and construction is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2022, with completion slated for August 2023. Baton Rouge Coca-Cola has been in operation for 115 years, when the first bottle was filled at a small building at the corner of Europe and St. Louis streets in downtown Baton Rouge. The current facility, located at 9696 Plank Road, was built in 2009. With the expansion, the total size of the Baton Rouge facility will increase to 900,000 square feet. Today, the facility distributes approximately 10 million cases in the Baton Rouge market and 11 million cases to six other UNITED facilities across Louisiana and parts of Mississippi. The facility also serves more than 8,000 customers.
The Baton Rouge facility expansion follows Coca-Cola UNITED’s announcement in July of plans to invest more than $15 million for renovations at its Lafayette, Louisiana distribution facility. Both investments are part of the company’s long-term investment strategy to meet the growing demand of customers in the Pelican State.
Coca-Cola UNITED, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the U.S., and most of Louisiana is included it its territory. The company operates bottling facilities and distribution centers in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, as well as sales and distribution centers in Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe and Shreveport. Statewide, Coca-Cola UNITED employs more than 2,100 Louisiana residents.
– Stand UNITED –
About Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc., founded in 1902 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is the second largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in North America and the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the U.S. Now with its fifth generation of family working in the business, Coca-Cola UNITED has approximately 10,000 associates located in more than 50 facilities across six southeastern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee). Historically significant franchises within our Coca-Cola UNITED family include Chattanooga, the world’s first Coca-Cola bottler; Atlanta, home of the worldwide Coca-Cola System; and Columbus, Georgia, development site of the original Coca-Cola formula.
Coca-Cola UNITED is engaged in the production, marketing, and distribution of a diverse portfolio of leading sparkling (Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Coke Zero Sugar®, Dr Pepper®, Sprite®, AHA® and Fanta®) and still (smartwater®, Dasani®, POWERADE®, BODYARMOR®, Fairlife®, Gold Peak®, Monster® and Minute Maid®) non-alcoholic brands under exclusive franchise agreements principally with The Coca-Cola Company® and Keurig Dr Pepper®.
For 119 years, Coca-Cola UNITED has remained true to its foundational core values of Quality, Excellence, Integrity and Respect. Local relationships, personalized customer service, and strong community engagement have been the foundation of our business for more than a century. Each year, millions of dollars are invested in our local communities, supporting education, community development, sustainability and nonprofit organizations that empower and impact those in need.