Mexican beverage giant Coca-Cola FEMSA, the biggest soft drink bottler in Brazil, plans to invest $200 million to expand its operations in the South American country, media reports said Sunday.
“We will keep the focus on developing packaging with different sizes, like minipets and family size bottles, providing the most attractive price to consumers,” Coca-Cola FEMSA’s top executive in Brazil, Jose Ramon Martinez, told the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.
The Mexican company is moving ahead with its investment plans even though 2014 was not a good year for the industry in Brazil, with beverage consumption down, and 2015 is not showing signs of recovery.
Coca-Cola FEMSA plans to invest the funds in logistics, new production lines, plant automation and expanded distribution in Minas Gerais and Parana, the states where its operations are concentrated.
The investments and a new tax regime for beverages that takes effect on May 1 should help stabilize the outlook for 2015, compared to last year, Martinez said.
“Even with this change, there is still much to do. The tax burden in Brazil is very heavy,” Martinez said.
The company did not develop its investment plan with just taxes in mind, but the new law will remove “great uncertainties over the next three years,” the executive said.