Coca-Cola to create 25 new jobs as part of investment in Mayo

The firm is expanding its 'Freestyle' soda machines

Coca-Cola to create 25 new jobs as part of investment in Mayo

Image: The Coca-Cola Company

Softdrink maker Coca-Cola is to create 25 new jobs as part of a €26m investment in Mayo.

The positions, to be created over the next three years, will be based at its Ballina operations.

The move comes as part of an expansion of the company's Freestyle machines, with Ballina becoming the first production site for the technology outside the United States.

The Freestyle is a touch-screen soda fountain, first introduced in the US in 2010, and features more than 165 different drink choices.

More than 40,000 of them can be found across the US, haing also undergone extensive market testing with customers in Europe.

The firm is aiming to introduce it into key European markets, with the demand from 10 countries expected to be met by the production team in Ballina.

It is not known if the machine is being launched on the Irish market.

But Coca-Cola says workers in Ballina have been "instrumental" in its development.

Speaking about the investment, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "The €26m investment announced by Coca-Cola in their Ballina operations today is a significant vote of confidence by the company in Ireland and Mayo itself.

"Coca-Cola have been an important element of the local economy and significant employer in Mayo since 2000 and across Ireland for over six decades. Today’s announcement is a further vote of confidence in the Western region by a major multinational company."

Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, Muhtar Kent, added: "Today's investment further underpins our commitment with Ballina now involved in the production of our innovative Freestyle technology, facilitating its expansion into other key European markets and offering more choice to our consumers.

"We are delighted to be in a position to further invest here and to support the Government’s job creation and growth strategy for the economy."

Coca-Cola first arrived in Ireland in 1934.

It now employs 1,700 people at facilities in Antrim, Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Mayo and Wexford.