Aiming to reach out to a larger set of progressive beverage companies, Nor-Cal Beverage Company, a major co-packer of non-alcoholic beverages on the West Coast, has added a new multi-process can production line to its Anaheim, Calif. facility.
The investment in adding canned production to the plant, which until recently had only produced PET and HDPE bottles, came out of Nor-Cal’s 2014 sale of its Anheuser-Busch distributorship to Markstein Beverage of Sacramento.
“Throughout the history of Nor-Cal, whenever we have sold off aspects of the business we have reinvested the proceeds back into the company,” said Tyler Deary, contract manufacturing account manager at Nor-Cal, in a call with BevNET. “We had been strategizing what were the biggest needs on the West Coast and saw investing in this can line as a great opportunity.”
The new can line has the capability of filling up to 1,200 cans per minute and can run conventional cold-fill carbonated, hot-fill and tunnel pasteurization processes, the latter of which is a preservative-free process that’s become increasingly popular with the rise of all-natural and organic beverages.
“We knew adding can fill was important but we were also thinking a lot about processes,” said Pete Grego, director of contract manufacturing. “We saw the need for tunnel pasteurization.”
The first major example of the new can line opening up new business at the Anaheim facility is with organic yerba mate beverage brand Guayaki, which Nor-Cal began production for in January.
“There’s a growing demand and need for products that are certified organic or kosher, or whatever the certification may be, and we’re working with our customers to be able to cater to where the consumer is going and what they’re looking for. Guayaki’s a great example of that and we look forward to growing our businesses together,” Deary said.
Nor-Cal, a Sacramento-based family-owned and operated business originally founded in 1937, acquired the 330,000 square foot Anaheim production facility, a former Minute Maid plant, in 2001, after assuming operations from the Coca-Cola company two years earlier. In 2005 the company launched its in-house energy drink Go Girl, of which some of its proceeds go towards breast and ovarian cancer organizations.