Coca-Cola visit

Last weekend I was over at Coca-Cola’s production plant in Wilrijk.

Why? As part of the Open Bedrijvendag, Coca-Cola provided a glimpse behind the scenes to the general public. They hadn’t done that over the last 10 years. So we thought to go out there and see what makes Coca-Cola thick.

Coca-Cola we all know; it is the flagship product of the The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola was invented by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus who thought cough syrup actually tastes good. Coca-Cola is vast and was recently still the most valuable brand in the world, until it got replaced by Apple.

What I noticed is that Coca-Cola Enterprises is a really marketing driven company. When we arrived at the site, there was a queue for 1,5 hours and we were bombarded with all their juicy commercials.

You could go around and do a tour throughout the factory and see how Coca-Cola gets produced. The end-to-end process: from bottling to packaging to the palletizer and finally off transported to the retailers. Unfortunately, there were no speakers nor did we get any headsets.

There were some interesting banners though with some impressing numbers.

For instance, the throughput rates are amazing. If I can recall correctly, no less than 21000 bottles go off every hour and 265 loaded trucks an hour. On the other hand, only about 350 operators and technicians man the factory we were told.

Still surprised of the extent such processes are automated.

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