With water toppling soda as the more popular beverage choice for consumers, one Lehigh County water bottling company said it completed a $79 million expansion to accommodate the increased demand.
Nestle Waters North America said it finished its two-year expansion of its Nestle Pure Life East bottling facility in Breinigsville.
“The consumer continues to look for healthy alternatives for beverages,” Mike Franceschetti, Nestle Waters plant manager, said this morning. “People see the value in that, and that’s why we needed additional capacity.”
Late in fourth quarter 2016, water became the No. 1 consumed beverage, Franceschetti said.
The expansion includes the $23 million investment the company made in Production Line 17, which expanded bottling operations for Nestle Waters 0.5-liter bottled water products. The company then invested $56 million to build Production lines 18 and 19, which now produce 8-ounce, 0.5-liter, 700-milliliter and 1-liter products.
The company also added another 100,000 square feet to its warehouse space, Franceschetti said.
The facility can now accommodate about 50 additional jobs, he added. The company employs about 500 at its two Lehigh County bottling facilities.
Nestle Waters completed construction for the expansion with its internal construction firm and hired outside subcontractors, he added.
The Nestle Pure Life East plant also has the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification, the company said.