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Coca-Cola opens $88m bottling plant

Coca-Cola has announced its single largest drinks investment in China with the opening of a RMB 600m ($88m) bottling plant. The company said it had invested in the still beverage to meet growing demand from consumers in the country.

The soft drinks giant said still beverage made up 30 per cent of its business in China. Investment plans The new plant is in the central industrial hub of Wuhan. It is Coke’s 39th bottling plant in China and the third it has opened there this year. The expansion is part of a $2bn investment package that the company pledged to make in China after competition authorities rejected its $2.4bn bid to buy Huiyuan Juice Group earlier this year.

Doug Jackson, president of Coca-Cola China, said: “We are dedicated to providing Chinese consumers with a diversified portfolio of high-quality drinks and we will continue to invest in the full spectrum of the beverage business.”

Dairy drink launch

The news comes in the same week that Coke launched its first dairy drink into the Chinese market. The Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky drink — a mixture of fruit juice, milk powder and coconut flakes — has been launched in the provinces of Beijing, Guangdong and Zhejiang province. It is estimated that by the end of this year the dairy drink could be sold in 300 cities across China. The milk content of the drink is currently being sourced in New Zealand but Chinese media reported that future co-operation with domestic dairy producers was possible.

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