NEW YORK -- Coca-Cola Co. on Friday said it has opened its 39th bottling plant in China, with a new venture that focuses solely on non-carbonated beverages such as juices and teas.
The world's largest soft drink maker said the plant in Wuhan, which cost about $88 million, is its largest single investment in the production of so-called still beverages in China.
Consumers around the world are switching from sparkling drinks like sodas such as Coke and Sprite to healthier juices and teas. Coca-Cola and other drink makers like PepsiCo Inc. are responding by boosting their offerings of these products.
The new plant is a joint venture owned by Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and its bottlers in China. The plant will make Minute Made, Nestea and other drinks.
It is Coca-Cola's third plant opening in China this year. The company has pledged to invest $2 billion in China over the next three years.
Coca-Cola shares rose 13 cents to $55.05 in morning trading.