(millions of liters)
Gross profit margin
Milton Keynes is strategically located between five major UK cities, with fast links to the whole country
Carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks for branded beverage customers
On December 31, 2019, the acquisition of the former Coca-Cola European Partners’ (CCEP) site in Milton Keynes, UK, was finalized. Included in the agreement were a lease contract of CCEP’s warehouse site in Northampton and contract manufacturing activities. This acquisition confirms our focus on expanding our contract manufacturing business and strengthens our manufacturing footprint and ability to serve our customers locally.
Integration started at the beginning of 2020. As part of a review of the UK footprint, it was decided that the sites at Milton Keynes and Bondgate would, together, form a dedicated canning center, producing cans for a mix of customers. This gives flexibility to the UK business, promoting the sharing of resources and ensuring a coordinated approach to canning projects. The site achieved ‘grade A’ BRC accreditation in 2020, which demonstrates our commitment to providing customers with high quality and safe products. The site produces carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks for branded beverage customers. Investments will be made to facilitate production of alcoholic beverages in the near future. This new capability will further strengthen our UK business, serving branded and private label customers with a range of alcoholic beverages.
On January 2, 2020, we finalized the acquisition of AZPACK (Arizona Production & Packaging) and their manufacturing activities located in Tempe, Arizona, USA. With this acquisition, we further expanded our footprint in North America to enable strategic growth in this region. The team at AZPACK value entrepreneurship and flexibility as much as we do at Refresco. We share a ‘can do’ mentality and found that we had the same approach to serving customers.
In 2020, the business model at AZPACK was transformed to enable Refresco North America to make optimal use of opportunities in the market. In Q2, they started production of hard seltzer in cans, for which demand was high in the retail channel in North America. We progressed with our planned investments in the site, installing a new canning line as well as new packaging equipment, in line with customer demand. There are now two variety pack lines in place at AZPACK, serving some of our most important branded beverage customers in North America.
Alcoholic beverages and energy drinks for branded beverage customers
On October 1, 2020, the acquisition of Britvic’s three juice manufacturing facilities in France was completed. It includes three bottling facilities, related retailer brands business, the Fruité brand and a long-term agreement with Britvic for manufacturing their flagship brands Pressade and Fruit Shoot. We also provide Britvic with contract manufacturing services in Benelux and in the UK.
France is an important market for Refresco and with this acquisition, we created a better national coverage and consequently further potential to serve customers’ demands. Refresco now has seven bottling facilities strategically located in France to serve customers’ demands. The integration process of the three new locations started on 1 October 2020.
At these new Refresco France locations, we will produce Pressade, which is the leading brand in organic fruit juices in France, as per an exclusive long-term contract with Britvic. We will also produce the popular children’s juice drink Fruit Shoot for them. The integration process continues into 2021.
La-Roche-sur-Foron, Château-Thébaud, Nissan-lez-Ensérune
Juices and juice-based beverages for branded beverage customers and retailers
On November 1, 2019, a strategic agreement between Refresco and one of our key customers, PepsiCo, came into effect. Refresco took on the production of part of the PepsiCo beverages volume in Spain. The agreement involved the transfer of two of the three factories that PepsiCo had in Spain: one in Tafalla, in the north, and one in Seville, in the south. These two plants complement the other three Refresco plants in Spain. Refresco Iberia increased its capacity in some key technologies, including cans and PET, enabling future growth serving retailers and branded beverage customers.
The integration process started right away, with one of the main challenges to prepare and have staff adapt for higher complexity in planning, as production would change from being a ‘single customer’ factory to a multi-customer one. Staff quickly came to appreciate the can-do attitude at Refresco and they recognized the possibilities for growth based on the plans to expand production and include private label products for retailers in future. In 2020, we started production of some Refresco private label volumes at the Tafalla site. The plan for 2021 is to also introduce new private label volumes in Seville.
Seville and Tafalla
Carbonated soft drinks, ice tea, juice for branded beverage customers and retailers
Refresco UK delivered multiple batches of drinks and other refreshments from all their locations to the National Health Services (NHS), hospices and other people in need in their local communities, to show their support and appreciation for the fantastic work they have been doing. One example was the donation of two trucks filled with drinks to a hospital in London, as part of the NHS’s One Million meals campaign, which is dedicated to feeding key workers on the frontline as they continue to fight against Covid-19 and save lives.
Refresco Iberia donated tens of thousands of beverages this year as well as protective gear. Pictured here is the donation of 14,000 drinks to the Red Cross, these were distributed to families in need that live close to the Refresco Iberia plant in Oliva (near Valencia, Spain). In addition, they donated personal protective gear to health services staff in the province that our Alcolea plant is located in.
Our Columbus R&D concentrate manufacturing site had never manufactured hand sanitizer before. Using its resources, ingenuity and raw materials, it came up with an 80% alcohol-based product that follows World Health Organization recommendations and that is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They were able to quickly secure a state permit to be allowed to produce this, and the first production run of 2,000 gallons of hand sanitizer solutions was at the end of April.
In total, more than 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer were produced and distributed to sites across Europe and North America, and part of it was donated. More than 1,000 gallons of the hand sanitizer production were donated to organizations in need, including healthcare facilities, hospices, homeless shelters, law enforcement offices and nursing homes.