BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc. broke ground on a $42 million expansion of its Baton Rouge campus.

The project includes expanding the existing warehouse, optimizing distribution operations and installing a leading-edge warehousing system that will benefit associates, customers and communities in Baton Rouge and the state.

State officials said this $42 million expansion of Coca-Cola is the perfect example of building back better, making for a stronger economy and a stronger people. The company will expand the existing warehouse by 120,000 square feet. 

“At its core, the $42 million 120,000 [square foot] expansion is not just about more space, it’s also about more jobs, more innovation, more safety, more efficiency, you name it,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.  

State officials said this move shows how Louisiana’s economy is recovering despite the economic effects of the pandemic and Hurricane Ida. 

“The beauty of coming out of these hard difficult, challenging times, is recognizing that Louisiana is still alive, well and open for business,” said Representative Troy Carter.  

In addition to more jobs, the expansion will be equipped with new technology. The Vertique, a picking system, will allow for more effective distribution of the 10 million cases the Baton Rouge market already produces. 

Vice President of Coca-Cola United Susanne Hall said investing this money in Baton Rouge was a no-brainer.

“Today we service multiple cities in the state of Louisiana but we also service multiple states,” said Hall. “This is a growing economy, this is a growing area, we have a strong market share.”

Baton Rouge Coca-Cola has been in operation for 115 years since the first bottle was filled at a small building at the corner of Europe and St. Louis streets in downtown Baton Rouge.

The expansion is expected to be completed by mid-2023.