PepsiCo, one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, has today announced the completion of a £14 million upgrade of its Southern Region Distribution Centre (SRDC) based in Leicester, marking this one of the company’s biggest logistics investments in the UK.

A new building has been established with state-of-the-art equipment and technology that will increase the storage capacity at site by 29%. This investment will enable PepsiCo to better meet the growing consumer demand for Walkers – which are purchased by 9 in 10 households in the UK[1] – allowing the nation’s favourite crisps[2] to be distributed to supermarkets and retail partners more efficiently.

Previously PepsiCo relied on overspill sites that required crisps to be stored and transported to other locations. Now, more crisps can be stored on-site, taking over 600,000km off the road in transportation – the equivalent to travelling around the world 15 times – and annual savings of over 400 metric tonnes of CO2 as a result.

As part of the new building, the latest automated technology has been installed to retrieve and move pallets of stock more efficiently. Previously, a crane would have been used to carry two pallets of product across an aisle. These have been replaced with 18 shuttle cars across 9 levels, which can collect, store and assemble stock, with cars able to operate at the same time to make this process quicker and more efficient.

This investment forms part of pep+, the company’s strategy that puts sustainability at the heart of its business and is focused on changing the global food system for the better. Part of this vision includes building a circular and inclusive value chain that’s better for consumers and for the planet. 

Andy Smethurst, SRDC Site Lead, PepsiCo: “After two years of planning and execution, our new SRDC building is now open for business, and set to dramatically change our logistics operation. It will create more efficiencies, more capacity, and importantly also take miles off the road so we can reduce our carbon footprint. We’re confident that this will allow us to serve our retail customers with more agility, while also ensuring the future success of our distribution centre.”

[1] Kantar, 52 w/e 09.08.20

[2] Walkers has largest brand share of all brands within potato chips (29.8%) – Nielsen Total Savoury Database. Value Sales. MAT 21.08.21

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