Pepsi-Cola Jamaica boosts production with US$22-m investment
PEPS-COLA on Tuesday inaugurated its US$22-million production line 9, which the company said will significantly increase its production capacity.
“Over the months of 2023, we haven’t been able to supply the entire market. So we have a lot of products that we were unable to fill, especially the local product, and we had to choose which one to produce, and mainly it’s Pepsi,” commercial manager of Pepsi-Cola Jamaica, Luz Tejada, explained to the Jamaica Observer.
This expansion, which was completed in just eight months, has bolstered the company’s production capacity by 60 per cent. According to Tejada, the aim is to increase distribution locally by 20 per cent.
“Jamaica has been asking for some of our products that we weren’t able to produce, like the 12-ounce Pepsi and the small Pepsi. Also, the popular request was the 500ml, so now we’re going to be able to supply the local market. For our international market, we’re going to be able to reach between 15 and 20 per cent as well,” Tejada shared.
The new production line has also expanded the company’s workforce by 20 per cent. Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Prime Minister Andrew Holness lauded Pepsi-Cola Jamaica’s investment, highlighting its potential to make Jamaica a central hub for the Caribbean. Holness noted that it may prompt competitors to follow suit, potentially leading to further industry growth. The news of the job creation, however, was met with satisfaction from Holness, who emphasised the importance of such investments in reducing unemployment in the country.
“These jobs are not just statistics; they represent lives and livelihoods. They represent dreams and aspirations fulfilled. They represent economic independence. They represent social mobility. They represent human capital and skills,” he said.
Pepsi-Cola Jamaica has not only expanded its production capabilities but also has plans for innovation. Both Transformation Manager Anecia Levy and General Manager Alberto Ramirez hinted at upcoming product offerings aimed at both local and international markets, featuring iconic brands such as Pepsi, Gatorade, and Ocean Spray.
“For Ocean Spray, they customise some innovation just for Jamaica, so we basically ask them what they want differently, like if they want something with ginger, we are going to come and develop something just for Jamaica,” detailed Tejada when speaking with the Business Observer, as the specifics were not disclosed during the event.
With this new production line, she says it has opened the gateway for the expansion of other beverage production lines for Gatorade, Ocean Spray, and Tropicana.
“We don’t produce it [other beverages] in this type of line, so we are thinking that in a short time we need a new line because we are almost at capacity in that line. So we are thinking of making more investments; we’re not sure if it’s going to be here in Kingston, but we are open to different places in Jamaica,” she said.
Pepsi-Cola Jamaica, a subsidiary of the Central America Bottling Corporation, specialises in the production, marketing, and distribution of various Pepsi Co beverages and snacks, serving Jamaica and exporting to regional and international markets.