UK: Coca-Cola GB to close Malvern plant
Malvern has only ever had 1% of total bottled water sales in the UK
Coca-Cola GB is to cease production of Malvern bottled water in the UK, after the firm announced it is to close the brand's UK bottling plant.
The Worcestershire-based plant, which employs 17 full-time staff, will close due to cost and capacity issues, it said today (22 October).
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola said: "This has been a very tough decision for us to take, particularly given the hard work and commitment shown by our staff at Malvern.
"We cannot produce enough Malvern Water on the scale it needs to compete in today's bottled water sector," the spokesperson added. "Modern bottled water plants are around ten times the size of (the Malvern Water facility in) Colwall and can often produce more water in a day than we do in a month. The size of our site - plus the amount of water we can actually extract - means Malvern is expensive to produce and cannot compete on price."
According to Coca-Cola, Malvern has only had 1% market share of bottled water sales in the UK in the past ten years.
"Over the past five years, we have placed Malvern in our vending machines in UK airports, pursued new contracts and invested in the Colwall plant," the spokeserson said. "But we simply can't change the size of the plant, or extract the volume of water needed, for Malvern to compete in today's highly competitive bottled water sector."
The firm said it will do "all it can" to offer staff alternative roles at its other sites.
The Malvern site will close at the beginning of November. Coca-Cola said it plans to sell the site for residential use.
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