Ozarks Bottling Company Looks to Expand into NW Arkansas

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — An Ozarks bottling company is hoping to expand its footprint on the soda industry over the next year.

Ozarks Coca-Cola Bottling Company will try to grow its areas they distribute by 2017. 

The bottling company has been serving southern Missouri and nearby states for years but now, they want to expand into northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma and even more into Kansas.

“We produce various different plastic bottles here and we distribute it throughout, I don’t know how many counties we have now, probably 60 or 70 counties.”

Memorial Day weekend is the start of the busiest time of the year for the company which produces millions of bottles a year.

“Our volume continues to increase a little bit each year.”

President Bruce Long said the company is in the early stages of taking over small territories in Oklahoma and Kansas, along with, four counties in northwest Arkansas. It will be the second expansion in the last year.

“We have good distribution. We have great customers that we get space in stores.”

That means more income and potentially more jobs down the road.

“We have just over 500 employees now with the new acquisition of Joplin and West Plains,” said Long.

The distribution company’s footprint already stretches from Crawford and Butler counties in Missouri to Elk County in Kansas and Newton County to the south.

“There’s not a lot of production facilities left. I think we are one of the few in the state of Missouri that produce our own.”

Despite a decline in sales for the Atlanta-based. Coca-Cola, Long said business is up and the growth is a result of that.

“Our Coke and Dr. Pepper sales are remaining relatively, there’s some growth in that, cause there’s still people that like to drink Coca Cola and Dr. Pepper.”

The company signed a letter of intent last week which means the company will be searching for ideas. The acquisition should be complete by 2017.

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