Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Coca Cola has committed to continue investing in the Philippines which it views as a growth market.
Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)I earlier announced an additional P1.1 billion investments, bringing total this year to P4.75 billion.
Gareth McGeown, president of CCBPI, in a press briefing, said the amount will be poured in infrastructure and in its manufacturing lines to increase capacity and capability across locations.
McGeown said a substantial amount will go to Mindanao locations — Misamis Oriental, Zamboanga and Sta. Cruz in Davao— which will get additional capacity to meet demand.
McGeown said Coca Cola’s P1-billion initiative for a PET recycling facility has faced delays following the quarantines that started in March but is still on track to be operational next year, as long as there are no more strict lockdowns and travel restrictions.
Win Everhart, president and general manager of Coca Cola Philippines, said the pandemic has led to a drastic change in consumer behavior that has affected demand from restaurants and away-from-home channels which account for 50 percent of its business.
Everhart said it helped that Coca-Cola has a very broad portfolio — from soda, water to juice and tea where some shift in preference has also been noted.
He said 2021 will still be a tough year for the brand but the company believes the Filipino consumer is resilient and business will continue.
McGeown said business has been recovering but “not to where we want to be.”
He said though they might have been “through the worst of it, there are still challenges,” adding the fourth quarter might give them a “better feel.”
CCBPI is one of the major employers in the country, operating 19 manufacturing plants and over 70 sales and distributions offices.