Coca-Cola Enterprises ploughs £14M into Morpeth factory

Glacéau smartwater: launched in the UK in 2014 and manufactured at Morpeth

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has opened a new water-processing and bottling line at its Morpeth site, in Northumberland, following a £14M spend.

The new high-speed, automated line will more than double production capability to 56,000 bottles per hour (bph), from the previous line’s capability of 18,200bph.

It will support production of a new sports cap packaging format for CCE’s bottled water brand, glacéau smartwater.

Morpeth is CCE’s only site to produce glacéau smartwater – which comes from spring water from an underground aquifer. The 850ml bottle format is unique in the market, the company claimed.

Launched in the UK in 2014, glacéau smartwater is currently worth £21.9M in sales. The product is vapour distilled before electrolytes are added, giving what Coca-Cola GB claimed was a crisp, clean taste.

Supporting local manufacturing

Jane Buckley, operations director at CCE Morpeth, said the company was dedicated to supporting local manufacturing across the country.

She said: “This is an exciting milestone for our Morpeth operations. This latest investment in new production technology is a statement of our ongoing commitment to the local region.

“Here in Morpeth, we have a proud history of producing high quality water for consumers across Great Britain, and glacéau smartwater has been a successful addition to this portfolio.

Buckley added that bottled water with sports caps are in growth, ahead of the rest of the instant consumption water sector, “so this latest innovation offers real room for our retail customers to capitalise on this trend”.

Instant consumption formats

The new sports cap has been introduced to tap into consumer demand for instant consumption formats, where glacéau smartwater is ranked the number five brand, according to Nielsen.

Its launch is being supported by a £5.5M ‘life distilled’ marketing campaign, which kicked off in April.

Comprising out-of-home and digital advertising, the campaign will run throughout the summer.

CCE is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in the UK, employing around 4,000 people.

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