Crown Beverages Limited, the franchise bottler for PepsiCo, Inc., in Uganda on April 5th 2023, officially inaugurated its multimillion-dollar bottling plant at Kakungulu, Kajjansi Town Council, on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.
The commissioned plant, built at a cost of $76 million (Shs284 billion), is the first phase of a $90 million (about Shs340 billion) expansion project that is being undertaken by the bottler in an effort to meet new demand domestically and in the region, as well as expand its product portfolio to meet new and emerging consumer tastes and preferences.
The second phase that is already underway is scheduled to be completed in November this year at a cost of $24 million (about Shs90 billion).
Several cabinet ministers and other government officials including Hon. Mwebesa Francis, Minister of Trade Industry and Cooperatives and his deputy, Hon. David Bahati as well as Major General Jim Muhwezi Katugugu, the Cabinet Minister for National Security.
“The Kakungulu plant has an installed production capacity of 116,000 bottles per hour. It has the ability to produce 80,000 bottles of carbonated soft drinks and 36,000 bottles of water per hour,” Dr. Amos Nzeyi, the Executive Chairman said.
“We still have a new site that we have embarked on at Kakungulu. The lines have been bought, and are to be installed in the under-construction buildings. The buildings will be finished in three months and the two new lines installed starting September this year and will start operating on 1st November 2023,” he added.
The expansion has been financed by shareholder contributions, Citibank and Stanbic Bank, as well as PepsiCo.
“I would like to thank my fellow shareholders and directors, Chris Kayoboke and Prof. Maggie Kigozi for their commitment to Crown Beverages Limited over the 30 years. I would also like to express our gratitude to the management and staff of CBL for standing by us over the years. We couldn’t have done this without you,” Dr. Nzeyi reiterated.
Armed with a franchise from PepsiCo, Crown Beverages purchased the assets of the then government-owned Lake Victoria Bottling Company on 28th February 1993 and has severally invested and reinvested in the business, growing it from a small bottler reliant on government subsidies to produce just 1.8 million cases of a few soda brands annually, to now a robust bottler, producing 65 million cases, distributed across the region.
The company employs up to 10,000 people directly and indirectly across its distribution chain and paid UGX200 billion in taxes in 2022.
Crown Beverages Limited bottles Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Mirinda Fruity, Mirinda Orange, Mirinda Pineapple, Mirinda Green Apple, Evervess Tonic, Sting Energy Drink and Nivana Water. Nivana comes in two varieties, namely; still and sparkling. In November 2022, CBL unveiled Aquafina, its new brand of bottled drinking water. Aquafina, enriched mineral is a brand of PepsiCo, Inc.,. Uganda is the third country to be allowed by PepsiCo International to bottle the Aquafina brand, after Nigeria and Egypt.
“Our products are available in well over 100,000 retail outlets such as kiosks dukas, groceries, supermarkets, restaurants, canteens and depots countrywide. The company has witnessed continuous growth for the last six years and is currently the market leader of the Ugandan carbonated soft drinks industry,” said Paddy Muramiirah, the Chief Executive Officer.
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