PepsiCo to build its largest US beverage plant in Colorado

PepsiCo’s beverage division plans to build a 1.2 million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Colorado that will be its largest plant in the U.S. when it opens next summer.

The new bottling plant, with three times the capacity of the nearby facility it will replace, will create nearly 250 new jobs in the Denver area. It will also retain all 250 current employees at the nearby plant. It will produce many of the company’s popular beverage products including Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Gatorade, bubly, Rockstar, Propel and Muscle Milk. 

PepsiCo did not disclose the cost of the new facility.

Johannes Evenblij, PepsiCo Beverages North America’s West Division President, said the plant will serve as “a model for the future of [PepsiCo Beverages North America’s] supply chain.” 

The company said it picked Colorado, where PepsiCo Beverages North America has operated for nearly 75 years, for the new larger plant in part because of Denver’s highly educated and skilled workforce. The company currently has 1,200 employees in the state.

PepsiCo’s decision to build a new plant mirrors other CPGs in the food and beverage space. Several companies have announced plans to build new facilities or add on to existing buildings to prepare for future demand.

In just the past few months, Post Holdings, the maker of Honey Bunches of Oats and Pebbles, said it would spend up to $110 million to expand cereal production capacity at a Nevada facility. J.M. Smucker committed $1.1 billion to build a new manufacturing facility and distribution center in Alabama for its Uncrustables sandwich line. Eight months after announcing a $75 million 70,000-square-foot expansion to an Illinois plant to make chocolates, Ferrero said last month it was investing an additional $214.4 million to make it even larger. And Nestlé plans to spend $675 million on a facility in Arizona to make creamers for its Coffee mate, Coffee mate Natural Bliss and Starbucks brands. 

Beverage sales were mixed for the CPG giant during the previous quarter, PepsiCo reported earlier this week. While its North American beverage unit posted organic revenue growth of 9%, compared to a year prior, product volume edged lower by 1%.

PepsiCo is incorporating environmentally friendly attributes into its new facility. The Colorado location is set to be the most sustainable PepsiCo Beverages North America plant in the U.S., the company said. It will aim to achieve 100% renewable electricity, best-in-class water efficiency and reduced virgin plastic use.