UK – British multinational alcoholic beverage company Diageo is investing £40.5m (about US$53m) at its facilities in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Runcorn, England to enhance their packaging capabilities. 

According to a statement from the London-headquarter company,  the investments are necessary to support the growth of Guinness Draught and Guinness Zero.

A total of £24.5m (about US$32m) will be invested at the Belfast facility, more than doubling its canning production.

A considerable part of the funds will be used to convert existing warehouses into a new packaging line capable of producing 72,000 cans per hour. 

A further £16m will be invested at the Runcorn site to significantly upgrade its bottling line and expand warehousing capacity. 

Diageo said it was making the investment to meet global demand for Guinness products from domestic and export markets.

The company further notes that the expansion projects will support accelerated production and product innovation and enhance efficiency and competitiveness at both sites.

Construction is set to begin immediately with capacity at both facilities expected to come online in 2023.

This expansion is a significant investment in the development of our packaging facilities,” said Aidan Crowe, operations director for beer at Diageo. 

The projects in Belfast and Runcorn will support our growth ambitions, helping us to deliver end-to-end product innovation, and reinforce our agility to meet demand and provide excellent service to our customers around the world.” 

The investment is timely as sales of Guinness surged by 30 percent in the last six months of 2021 as drinkers flocked to pubs in search of quality beer, according to data from Diageo.

The beer brand still continues to dominate beers with news reporting that today, one in ten pints ordered in London is a Guinness, and the numbers are similar in cities across the United Kingdom.

Stewart Hancock, operations manager at Diageo’s Runcorn site, added: “This is an exciting time for our site in Runcorn as we invest in our business to support the growth of our business.

We contribute considerably to the local economy in Runcorn and the £16m investment will further support our supply chains and local communities.” 

Earlier, Diageo North America acquired premium flavored tequila brand, 21Seeds to bolster its presence in the premium spirit market segment.  

Founded in 2019 by three female entrepreneurs, Kat Hantas, Nicole Emanuel, and Sarika Singh, 21Seeds is a flavoured tequila brand infused with natural fruits juice.

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