Britvic is to create 20 jobs as part of a £26.9m investment at its factory in Rugby.
The drinks manufacturer will install a fourth canning line, growing the site’s total capacity by a further 18 per cent.
The set-up will produce recyclable 330ml cans for Britvic’s portfolio of brands, including Tango, Pepsi and 7UP. The first cans are expected to be produced this November, with the new line fully up and running in 2022.
Jobs will be predominantly in engineering and manufacturing, with apprentices filling some of the engineering roles and assisting with improvement projects as production commences.
Paul Graham, Britvic GB managing director, said: “This is yet another milestone on our growth journey, investing in both our supply chain and our people.
“This new, state-of-the-art canning line will be a fantastic boost for Britvic’s Rugby facility which continues to produce recyclable cans for some of our most popular brands.
“We look forward to using this additional capacity as a platform to drive further innovation.”
Earlier this month Britvic announced that a number of its brands will be moving to 100% rPET (recycled plastic), across single serve 500ml and/ or 600ml bottles, by the end of September. This includes Pepsi MAX, 7UP Free, Tango, Lipton, Robinsons Ready to Drink and Drench, with Mountain Dew also following suit in December 2022. The change will be supported with clear on-pack messaging across selected brands, in-store and outlet activation via POS materials and a new TV advert from Pepsi MAX.
Tom Fiennes, Commercial Sustainability Director at Britvic, said: “At Britvic, we’ve announced our intention that all bottles produced and sold by us in GB will be made from 100 per cent rPET by the end of 2022. We have already made huge progress towards this goal, but are pleased to confirm the next step in achieving our target, making the change across leading brands and in time for Recycle Week.”
Lipton Ice Tea was the first to make the change, with 100% rPET 500ml bottles on shelves this summer. They are the first bottles to use Esterpet packaging following Britvic’s £5m investment support in Esterform’s rPET manufacturing facility in 2019. Each bottle will state its 100% recycled plastic credential clearly on pack, helping consumers make informed decisions on their purchases.
In July, Britvic today reported Q3 revenue of £384.8 million, an increase of 22.8 per cent on last year, and with revenue growth in all business units. Year-to-date revenue increased by 3.1 per cent to £1,001.9m.
The company said it continued to deliver strong GB At-Home performance in Q3, with revenue ahead of last year throughout the quarter. The easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK also led to a significantly improved performance in the Out-of-Home channel and benefited On-the-Go consumption. Performance was supported by trade restocking ahead of reopening, as well as continued strong consumer demand for its brands. The reopening of indoor hospitality in the UK in May enabled most outlets to open, albeit with reduced capacity due to continued social distancing measures.
Elsewhere, revenue grew in the At-Home channel in Brazil, France, and Ireland. Double-digit revenue growth continued in Brazil, while the recovery of the Out-of-Home channel in Ireland lags the UK, reflecting the different paths out of lockdown.
Overall, while its product and pack mix has improved in the quarter, it has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.
When the results were announced, Simon Litherland, Chief Executive, said: “We remain committed to rebuilding investment behind our portfolio of market-leading brands to ensure we continue to emerge strongly and are well-positioned for the recovery as it evolves. In addition, recent initiatives, such as Rockstar, Plenish and the Aqua Libra Company, give us access to new opportunities and further enhance our medium-term growth prospects. We remain confident that our strategy is fit for the future and will continue to drive growth and create sustainable value for all our stakeholders.”