Coca-Cola UNITED Breaks Ground on $42 Million Expansion of Baton Rouge Facility - Food & Beverage Magazine

Coca-Cola UNITED Breaks Ground on $42 Million Expansion of Baton Rouge Facility

A Coca-Cola sign hangs outside a Coca-Cola distributor, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, in Bedford, Ohio. Coca-Cola Co. is getting its fizz back. The Atlanta beverage company said Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, its revenue jumped 16% to $10 billion in the third quarter as stadiums, movie theaters and other venues reopened around the world. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

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 casepicking 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. Theexpansion is expected to create up to 15 direct new jobs and will supplement the current 558 jobs that will be retained on-site atthe 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 WestRegion Vice President.

“We’re so excited to kick off this project. Every square inch of space has been thoughtfully designed and utilized,” said ScottMcCallister, 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 Louisianaand parts of Mississippi. The facility also serves more than 8,000 customers.