Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United Inc., the third-largest Coca-Cola bottling company in the U.S., is taking over territories in a major portion of Louisiana, including New Orleans, with oversight from Baton Rouge.
Other markets are Alexandria, Monroe, New Iberia and Shreveport. The Birmingham, Alabama-based bottler already covered Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles.
United also is taking over Natchez, Mississippi; Tallahassee, Florida; and Valdosta, Georgia, under a letter of intent signed with The Coca-Cola Co. for expanded territory rights.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The bottling plant and office on Plank Road near Metro Airport in Baton Rouge will be the main regional office, overseeing operations in the Gulf Region, which includes parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, said Melanie Clark, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola Baton Rouge.
The move means the Louisiana Coca-Cola business will be managed on a more local level, which will allow the company to better serve customers and the community, Clark said. Before that, an office in Atlanta, which had a regional headquarters in Harahan, managed the other Louisiana markets. There are no changes anticipated in the number of people working in the Harahan office and no facility closures are planned, Clark said.
There is no specific information on new job creation yet. But Clark noted that in 2014, when the local office added territories in parts of Alabama, Florida and Georgia, 120 jobs were added in the new areas.
“We’re very excited to have this opportunity,” she said.
Founded in 1902, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United operates 27 sales centers. Its other franchise territories are Birmingham, Cullman, Dothan, Evergreen, Montgomery, Oxford, Scottsboro, Tuscaloosa and Carbon Hill in Alabama; Augusta, Brunswick, Dalton, McRae, Milledgeville, Savannah, Statesboro, Waycross and West Point in Georgia; Pensacola and Valparaiso in Florida; Gulfport, Hattiesburg and McComb in Mississippi; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Editor’s Note: This story was revised at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 23, 2015, to clarify information on jobs created during previous territory expansions.