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Coca Cola, a long-standing presence in Hauts-de-France

17 Jul 2019 | Front page, Health Nutrition, Investment

It is 30 years this year since Coca Cola moved to Socx, near Dunkirk. The development and investment which has taken place in those 30 years have made the plant one of the brand’s top three production sites in Europe.

coca cola, drink, investment

Coca Cola EP, €65 million of investment over five years in Hauts-de-France

Of the €232 million euros invested by the Coca Cola group in France in the last five years, 65 million went directly to the Socx plant in the period between 2009 and 2017.

This has enabled the site to improve productivity, with the replacement of four of its six production lines, making it much more versatile.

The most recent €19 million investment, in November 2018, resulted in the installation of a state-of-the-art seventh production line. The new addition facilitates the production, “of flat and soft drinks in a wide range of formats on a single line”. This is a major innovation at a European level for the American giant.

“The old production lines have already been replaced, and with this new investment our Socx plant is moving towards the future,” said Éric Desbonnets, Vice President Supply Chain at Coca-Cola European Partners France.

This new high-speed line, which has helped extend the plant's operations, can produce up to 55,000 glass bottles per hour. It gives the Socx site a strategic role in the development of the latest brand - the Fuze Tea range - in France and abroad.

Just a while ago, the very latest innovation of the group: Coca Cola Mixers had joined the Fuze Tea range. Recently launched in Europe, these special syrups for cocktails can be mixed with spirits (whisky, rum, bourbon) or with fruit juices. A European exclusivity confirming the leading position of the Hauts-de-France site.

This investment has been accompanied by the creation of 23 jobs within the plant, and that’s not counting jobs created indirectly.

The Socx plant is a French and European benchmark for the Coca Cola group

As the Coca Cola group marks 100 years in France, Coca Cola European Partners is celebrating its 30th birthday in Hauts-de-France!

With 350 employees and 11 brands in production, the Coca Cola EP Hauts-de-France plant is now the group’s largest production site in France. And what’s more, the plant produces 110 million crates each year for a total of 200 products made locally, putting Socx in the top three CCEP factories in Europe.

The highly diversified plant has the capacity to produce flat drinks and fizzy drinks, in PET packaging, cans and more recently in glass bottles.

“In terms of performance, it is one of our top three plants in Europe,” said Eric Desbonnets.

Dunkirk: a major platform for the group's growth in France and Europe

“In recent years, the Socx plant has become one of the most efficient in the CCEP network. We want to continue to promote the development of this site by making it a benchmark in terms of technological innovation,” said Eric Desbonnets

Thanks to its strategic position in the heart of northern Europe and its infrastructure, the Socx plant is part of the group's new sustainable development strategy. It allows production to take place as close as possible to the Coca Cola Brands’ customers and consumers. PET bottles from the Hauts-de-France plant are sent to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

What’s more, the space available on the site makes it an ideal place for investment and the opening of new production lines. “We are completely transforming this site. It embodies the transformation of the company.”

Learn more about agrifood sector in Hauts-de-France

Sources: L’usine nouvelle, Eco 121, Coca Cola, Coca Cola European Partners

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