Pepsi Bottling to expand Robeson operation

Posted October 27, 2016 1:44 p.m. EDT

Pepsi bottle

— Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC will create 50 jobs over the next five years at a new $16.5 million distribution center in Robeson County, officials said Thursday.

The Raleigh-based firm is the largest privately-held manufacturer, seller and distributor of Pepsi-Cola and other beverages in the U.S., serving more than 8 million consumers in the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

Pepsi Bottling Ventures, which also distributes Aquafina, Lipton, Gatorade and Starbucks products, already employs more than 2,000 people across its various North Carolina locations, including about 250 in area of the new distribution hub in St. Pauls.

"St. Pauls is an ideal location for our new facility. The location is centralized for our current employees and allows for easy highway access to distribute our products," Claire Niver, senior vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement. "We appreciate the support we have received from the Town of St. Pauls, Robeson County and the State of North Carolina making it possible for us to expand here."

Pepsi Bottling Ventures will hire warehouse, logistics, inventory management and other employees in the expansion. Annual salaries at the facility will average $39,500, plus benefits, slightly higher than Robeson County’s average of $29,579.

The company qualified for a grant of up to $150,000 from the One North Carolina Fund, which provides financial assistance to attract business to the state. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job and investment targets to obtain grant funds and local local government matching funds.

A $400,000 grant from the state’s Economic Infrastructure Program also will assist with infrastructure related to the expansion.