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PepsiCo confirms €127m expansion of its Cork plant

Drinks and food maker PepsiCo has invested €127m in expanding its facilities in Little Island in Cork, it confirmed on Friday.

Brands including Pepsi Max, Gatorade, 7Up, Mountain Dew and Doritos are currently manufactured at the facility.

The expansion, which includes additional manufacturing capacity, new research labs and a digital suite – is almost complete, the US company said, with more than 40 job openings currently at the plant.

The investment was reported in the Sunday Independent in December.

The firm, which has operated in Ireland for almost 50 years, said on Friday there is capability for further growth in the coming years.

“Investment in our business has driven the growth of our R&D team, from just 10 people in 2007 to more than 130 today,” said Breda Kennedy, R&D senior director at PepsiCo. “This continued investment will further strengthen our ability to attract the best talent across digital, engineering, analytics, food science, sensory and microbiology,”

Pepsi first opened its concentrate manufacturing plant in Little Island with only 30 employees in 1974.

It now employs almost 650 people at the site – up 20pc in the last two years – and 1,250 people in Ireland altogether.

“We have called Cork home for almost 50 years, and our longevity is a testament to the dedication of our talented workforce,” said Brian Colgan, site lead for PepsiCo at Little Island.

“This very significant expansion will allow us to increase our manufacturing capacity and ensure that we can continue to meet the global demand for our existing and future products.”

PepsiCo, which also manufactures brands including Pepsi-Cola, Lay’s and Cheetos, generated more than $86bn (€79bn) in net revenue in 2022.

“PepsiCo has had a presence in Ireland since 1974 and has grown its operations very significantly during that time,” Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney said. “This latest significant investment reinforces the company’s recognition of Ireland as a great place to do business.

Sarah Collins © Irish Independent 2023