LIVINGSTON – “The Choice of a New Generation” chose Livingston Parish as its new home.
Pepsi Beverages Company officially opened its distribution center in the Town of Livingston on Monday. The facility will serve as the only of its kind in south Louisiana.
The 140,000 square-foot distribution center was built from the ground up on a 15-acre plot of land, nestled between Epic Piping Co. and a newly opened truck stop.
The distribution center brings more than 200 new jobs to Livingston Parish.
“We are extremely excited to open this new facility in Livingston, said Eric Scherer, GM Senior Market Director, Pepsi Beverages Company: “Pepsi has a long history of doing business in Louisiana and this latest investment demonstrates our continued commitment to the surrounding communities, and enables us to optimize our ability to serve our customers and consumers in the area.”
The distribution center serves as a consolidation of three facilities – Baton Rouge, Covington and Thibodeaux.
Construction began in July 2015, but local officials stayed tight-lipped on the name of the company.
The consolidation may have been the reason the brand name had not been announced.
“It was quiet on their end for a long time,” Livingston Economic Development Council President/CEO David Bennett said. “As a company builds a new facility and it has consolidations involved, it’s a touchy deal with employees.”
Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks commended Pepsi for keeping its commitment in light of recent events.
“The days, weeks and months leading up to the unveiling have brought some unexpected events – the great flood, for instance,” he said. “So, this announcement is an emotional one for our community.
“We are so proud and so grateful for the companies that have stayed the course because they see the potential and vivacity of Livingston Parish, even in the wake of disaster,” Ricks said. “Pepsi’s distribution center brings jobs to our area and another global name that Livingston Parish can proudly call part of its family.”
The distribution center marks the second industrial employer to locate in the Town of Livingston in less than four months. Epic, which added 600 jobs to the parish, opened its state-of-the-art piping facility in late October.
“The jobs that are associated with the new distribution center will certainly benefit our residents,” Livingston Mayor David McCreary said. “As we grow our industrial footprint south of Interstate 12, Livingston is quickly becoming a hub for major manufacturers and logistics companies looking to expand their operations.”
The distribution center will likely offer median-level compensation, he said.
Jobs will include forklift drivers, packagers and supervisory positions, among others, Bennett said.
The addition of the Pepsi Distribution Center continues a rapid growth in the industrial sector for Livingston Parish.
Aside from Epic and Pepsi, Martin Brower will locate in Walker at the Industrial Park, off U.S. 190. The 150,000 square-foot facility – a relocation from Port Allen – will pump another 190 jobs into the Livingston Parish economy.
Open land and close proximity to Interstate 12 have made Livingston Parish an attractive option for industry, Bennett said.
“Epic and Pepsi are in a great location in terms of available land and not much residential development, along with easy access to Interstate 12,” he said. “That area and the Industrial Park should continue to grow.
“Between those three companies, you can easily expect to see more than a thousand jobs in the parish within the next five years,” Bennett said.
PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2015, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of foods and beverages, including 22 brands which generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.