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Pepsi plant officially in operation

HATTIESBURG — Pepsi bottlers, elected officials and economic development leaders yesterday celebrated the opening of a state-of-the-art Pepsi South bottling facility here that will produce 350,000 cases of Pepsi and Dr Pepper products per week.

The 236,000 square foot plant is located in the Forrest County Industrial Park, and is the only soft drink production facility in the area.

Wis-Pak, a consortium of Pepsi production facilities, decided to locate the plant in Hattiesburg due to the city’s central location, strong workforce and support of local officials and development leaders. Brown Bottling Group, based in Ridgeland, is a member of Wis-Pak and worked with area leaders to help secure the facility for Forrest County.

“This facility will put all of the bottlers in a competitive advantage to allow our customers the freshest product, produced with the most advanced technology in a premier facility,” said Bill Brown, president of Brown Bottling Group. “This investment in land, technology and people is a major economic development program for many years to come in the Southern Mississippi area. There can be no doubt about our long-term commitment and strong belief in the Hattiesburg area, and we are proud to be the only bottler based in this outstanding city.”

The Hattiesburg plant has three production lines, producing cans in all of the take-home multi-packs seen in the market. In addition to the traditional 12-ounce can, other can sizes will also be produced. PET (plastic) bottles ranging in size from 12 ounces to two liters will also be filled and a line dedicated to foodservice packaging has been commissioned.

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