The Coca Cola Company announces 26 million Euro investment in Ballina operations
By Graham Beazley
The Coca-Cola Company today announced an investment of 26 million Euro in its Ballina operations in Co. Mayo. The announcement was made by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD with Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company. The capital investment further strengthens the Company’s commitment to Ireland as the Ballina facility becomes the first production site for the company’s innovative Freestyle technology outside of the United States. An additional 25 new jobs will be created in Ballina over the next three years as part of this investment.
The Coca-Cola Freestyle patented technology is a touch screen soda fountain which was first introduced by the company in the U.S. in 2010. The dispenser features more than 165 different Coca Cola beverage choices from across the company’s full product range, including a choice of lower-calorie and no-calorie options, as well as sports drinks and fruit flavoured drinks. Freestyle empowers consumers to choose what’s right for them. Consumers can find their favourite or discover something new.
More than 40,000 Coca-Cola Freestyle machines can already be found across the U.S., and in recent years has undergone extensive market testing with customers in parts of Europe. The investment announced today will facilitate wider expansion of the Freestyle model into key European markets with the demand from 10 countries expected to be met by the production team in Ballina. The team based in Ballina has been instrumental in developing the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines produced specifically for the European market.
Speaking about the investment made today An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TDsaid: “The €26 Million investment announced by Coca-Cola in their Ballina operations today is a significant vote of confidence by the company in Ireland and Mayo itself.”
“Coca-Cola have been an important element of the local economy and significant employer in Mayo since 2000 and across Ireland for over six decades. Today’s announcement is a further vote of confidence in the Western region by a major multinational company.”
“The Government is determined to drive investment and job growth all over Ireland and today’s announcement is very welcome. Over the past year unemployment has fallen across every region in the country and this Government, through the Regional Action Plan for Jobs, will continue to ensure that the benefits of a rising economy are felt in every region of Ireland. Our recovery plan has seen a substantial improvement in the West of Ireland with over 5,000 jobs created since 2011 in Enterprise Ireland and IDA supported companies.”
Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for The Coca-Cola Company, said: “I am delighted to be in Ballina today to make this important announcement about further investments in our Irish operations.
“The Coca-Cola Company has a long history of investment and employment in Ireland having first located operations in Northern Ireland in 1934. The Coca-Cola system now employs 1,750 people across six locations in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Today’s investment further underpins our commitment with Ballina now involved in the production of our innovative Freestyle technology, facilitating its expansion into other key European markets and offering more choice to our consumers.
“We are delighted to be in a position to further invest here and to support the Government’s job creation and growth strategy for the economy. The success we have long enjoyed in Ireland is thanks both to the support of the Government and its agencies as well as to the talent of our teams working throughout the country.”