Employees work on a Coca-Cola production line in Shenyang, Liaoning province. [PHOTO BY ZHANG WENKUI/FOR CHINA DAILY]
Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a bottler of Coca-Cola beverages, will continue to increase its investment in China and add 20 production lines, with its long-term confidence in the Chinese market remaining intact, given China’s vibrant consumer market and increasing demand from the nation’s shoppers.
The company plans to invest more than 5.5 billion yuan ($819 million) in plant infrastructure over the next five years and expand digital production lines in its 18 factories across the nation, said Karen So, managing director of Swire Coca-Cola, adding the company is always full of confidence in the development prospects in the Chinese market.
Swire Coca-Cola announced in January that it would invest 1.25 billion yuan to build a new production base in Guangdong province, including 12 beverage production lines, warehouses and support facilities, which is the largest single investment by the company in China so far.
Last year, it invested no less than 900 million yuan to build a new plant in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, which is expected to go into operation within two years, with an annual production capacity of up to 1 million metric tons.
The company will further accelerate digital upgrading in its manufacturing facilities and bolster the digitalization of China’s beverage industry in collaboration with German conglomerate Siemens AG. The first digital production line of Swire Coca-Cola in China went into operation in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, in March 2021.
“Over the next two years, we will install a manufacturing information system at 18 plants with nearly 100 production lines nationwide,” So said. The system can collect real-time data during production, undertake dynamic data analysis in efficiency and energy consumption, and help optimize production information monitoring and analysis.
“In the past two to three months, our sales from major channels like supermarkets, stores and restaurants have been affected by the COVID-19,” she said, noting they have seen very positive growth following the gradual resumption of work and production in Shanghai since June. “We have strong confidence in the recovery of the Chinese market, and our long-term investment in China remains unchanged.”