Schweppes Zimbabwe has installed a new $14.5m hot-fill blower line for its Minute Maid Pulpy Orange and Minute Maid juice brands from Coca-Cola.
The Zimbabwe-based group said the installation has resulted in supply outstripping demand, with an output of 180,000 bottles per ten-hour shift.
Schweppes board chairman Sternford Moyo said the latest investment was four times the total or combined value of its current bottling lines, theindependent.co.zw reported.
The plant was financed partly from a medium-term loan from the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) Bank arranged by Merchant Bank of Central Africa (MBCA), with the balance coming from internally-generated funds.
Coca-Cola country manager Honest Murandu said since more and more consumers are wanting wider choice, the company would continue diversifying the beverage offerings.
"Minute Maid's Pulpy Orange is a welcome variation of our already successful Minute Maid brand, which has established itself as a household name with consumers," Murandu said.
The Pulpy Orange brand, which was launched globally in 2005, had reached $1bn in global retail sales by 2010.
In seven years, Schweppes Zimbabwe has spent $32.5m on plant investments, and the last upgrade was made at a cost of $20m in 2005.
In accordance with its growth plans, the group plans to launch more hot-fill beverages soon.
Zimbabwe is the first market in sub-Saharan Africa to pack the Minute Maid Pulpy orange in a lightweight PET bottle.
Image: Schweppes Zimbabwe has installed a new $14.5m hot-fill blower line for its Minute Maid brands from Coca-Cola.