Business

Coke Consolidated eyeing new markets, but no new states

Kimberly Kuo, senior vice president of public affairs for Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, addressed members of the Rotary Club Tuesday.
Kimberly Kuo, senior vice president of public affairs for Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, addressed members of the Rotary Club Tuesday. restone@charlotteobserver.com

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated is looking to expand into new markets in the states where it already operates, an executive said Tuesday.

In March and April the Charlotte-based bottler purchased facilities in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. But the company does not intend to expand to any new states, Kimberly Kuo, senior vice president of public affairs, told a Rotary Club of Charlotte luncheon.

Coca-Cola Bottling is “in the midst of a huge, huge growth spurt,” Kuo said.

The company has come a long way since 1902, when it became the first bottling plant in North Carolina. It now distributes 275 different brands. It is the largest independent Coke bottler in the U.S., with territories in 16 states.

The Charlotte-based bottler employs about 10,000 people total – about 3,250 in Charlotte, Kuo said.

The company has 23 call centers, distribution centers and other facilities in North Carolina, including nine in Charlotte.

Rachel Stone: (704) 358-5334, @RStone1317

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