By Jaylan Boyle, Senior Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Representatives of the Coca Cola corporation said recently that the company intends to significantly increase it’s expenditure and investment in Brazil over the five years to 2014, to coincide with the FIFA football world cup of that year and the Olympics of 2016.
The extra investment will total US$5.8 billion over the five year period, and represents a 75 percent increase when compared to it’s investment in the country of US$3.3 billion over the 5 year period ending this year.
Mr. Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca Cola, the world’s largest soft drink maker, said in a statement to media that Brazil is one of the company’s key world markets. The investment will be made with Coca Cola’s Brazilian wing, Coca Cola Brazil. The company has been increasing it’s investment outside of America in recent times, as it’s domestic US market faces downturn, attributed both to the current recession and to consumers choosing healthier options like fruit juices. Coca Cola has also said that it will be spending US$2 billion in China, considered another growth market.
Analysts have said that Coca Cola is acknowledging not only that Brazil is one of it’s key markets, but the overall improvement in the Brazilian economy and the changing habits of it’s consumers. “Over the past 25 years our sales volume (in Brazil) has grown 50-fold” said Mr Kent.
Deputy Trade Minister Welber Barral expressed recently the confidence felt in Brazil. “The domestic market is really growing now” he said. “The consumer is really spending and that has sustained our overally growth. Gross domestic product in Brazil, currently the world’s eighth largest economy, is expected to expand by 5 percent next year.
Coca Cola also announced that it has officially opened Latin America’s first ‘green’ factory, in the town of Fazenda Rio Grande in the state of Parana. The plant will produce a wide range of products but will focus on production of the popular dried tea products called matte. The facility will be capable of producing more than 11 million tonnes of matte annually.
The plant is part of the formerly Brazilian company Leão Junior, which was purchased by Coca Cola in 2007. Coca Cola built the factory using the practices of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and will be applying for the plant to be recognized as environmentally friendly by the Green Building Council of Brazil.
Features that contribute to the plant’s reduced energy requirements include transparent tiles on the outside of the building that allow natural light to penetrate. It also uses collected rainwater in bathrooms and for cleaning and irrigation.