The Coca-Cola Co. plans to invest nearly $7 billion in Mexico over the next four years, bringing total investment in the 2010-2020 period to $12.4 billion, Coca-Cola Mexico president Francisco Crespo said.
The funds will go into production lines, refrigeration equipment, trucks and distribution centers, Crespo said during the inauguration Wednesday of a PET recycling plant in Toluca, the capital of Mexico state.
The Atlanta-based company plans to build an innovation lab for Latin America that will open later this year and place “special emphasis on non-caloric natural sweeteners,” the executive said.
Coca-Cola’s goal is to “continue expanding offerings for our customers,” Crespo said, adding that “nearly 40 percent” of the company’s 500 brands “have zero calories or are low in calories.”
The beverage giant is also focusing on sustainability, rolling out programs that reach 5 million Mexicans.
A Coca-Cola reforestation program will have planted 60 million trees by the end of this year in Mexico, Crespo said.
Coca-Cola plans to invest more than $100 million this decade to promote exercise and proper caloric intake, the executive said.
The company’s “Ponte al 100” program aims to “re-educate Mexico’s 22 million students so they will have sustainable energy balance habits,” Crespo said.
The PET recycling plant in Toluca was expanded at a cost of $100 million, boosting employment to 1,200 jobs and benefiting Mexico’s 24,000 recyclers, Crespo said.
The plant is the largest facility of its type in the world, processing 3.1 billion plastic bottles, or some 65,000 tons of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, annually, Coca-Cola said.
The plant uses cutting-edge technology to process materials that could fill a space with 2.4 times the volume of Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium.
The investment plans show that “large global companies, like Coca-Cola, are seeing a reliable destination in Mexico,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said during the event in Toluca.