Coca-Cola's Chinese partner Kerry Beverages is contemplating expanding its soft drink operations in the country by opening up a number of new plants, possibly in the hugely populated city of Chongqing, to meet growing demand, the company's chairman said.

"Obviously Chongqing will be one location we will be looking at," said Richard Liu, the chairman of Kerry Beverages Ltd. However, he also indicated that other cities were being considered. "Frankly, in China there's no shortage of big cities," said Liu. "So we'll be looking for those opportunities."

Kerry Beverages is 87.5% owned by the conglomerate Kerry Group PLC (U.KYG) and 12.5% held by Coca-Cola. It has 10 bottling plants in China.

The soft drink company expects China volumes to increase at a double digit rate over the next few years as Chinese living standards and income levels increase. 
And encouragingly this will also mean that prices will not have to be kept at the current low levels.