Coca-Cola Socx: largest production site in France
Inaugurated in 1989, the Coca-Cola plant in Socx (Dunkirk) is currently the brand’s largest French production site, with 110 million cases produced on the lines each year. “In terms of performance, it ranks among our top 3 plants in Europe,” says Éric Desbonnets, Vice President of Supply Chain Management for Coca-Cola European Partners France (CCEPF). The plan boasts six production lines for 11 brands and 200 products. The Socx plant itself outputs one-third of the volume produced in France, more than 30% of all beverages consumed in France. In view of the success of iced teas, Coca-Cola CCEPF decided to invest €19M in a new production chain, the 7th for the Socx site. This new, ultra-modern facility will make it possible, for the first time in Europe, to operate a mixed production of still and carbonated beverages in different formats, including glass bottles. The Socx plant already has more than 360 employees and is set to create at least 23 additional jobs. Work will begin next year, with plans to start operations in the first half of 2019.
The iced tea craze
The verdict is in. Healthful, natural, and organic teas are increasingly popular among consumers of sugary drinks. That is why Coca-Cola decided to move into this growing market with its new “Fuze Tea” brand, launched in early 2018. The first bottles are being manufactured in Socx and are helping to boost CCEPF’s French production, which saw its sales decline in France. “Distributed through more than 30,000 retail outlets, Fuze Tea now accounts for 6% of the iced tea market in France. This brand is the top contributor to the market’s growth,” the group points out. This €19M investment will therefore support the development of Fuze Tea in a glass bottle format, both in France and in exports to neighboring European countries. “Our goal is to best meet the expectations of our consumers, who are increasingly opting for still beverages, like iced teas, and glass bottles, the ideal format for a perfect consumer experience,” adds Éric Desbonnets.
Coca-Cola: a sustainable development strategy
Coca-Cola wants to make 100% of its packaging recyclable and to collect 100% of the packages it generates by 2025, as part of its “In Action” plan. This is a twofold objective for the brand, which is seeking to diversify its production in terms of both products and formats. Currently, glass is one of the most commonly recycled materials in France. “The collected glass rate is 86%, but when it comes to plastic bottles, only one in two is recycled on average and only one in ten is recycled in large cities,” says Coca-Cola. On top of this enthusiasm for sustainable development, CCEPF is also betting on consumer interest in the “Made in France” label, ensuring that “90% of its beverages consumed in France” are produced in one of the five French sites. With the introduction of this new production line, Coca-Cola France still has a bright future ahead. Sources: Voix du Nord, L’Usine Nouvelle, Le Journal des Entreprises, DeltaFM, Business Insider, 20min, France 3 Info