Coca-Cola to lay off 102 San Diegans

Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 19:30:09-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Coca-Cola will lay off more than 100 San Diego workers in the wake of declining soft drink sales.

The company is moving warehouse operations from its Webster plant to its more modern Oceanside facility in an effort to increase efficiency and respond to evolving consumer demand. Beverage Digest, a publication that covers the drinks industry, reports that soda consumption is at a 30-year low. 

A Coca-Cola spokeswoman says the company will still have about 460 local workers, and sent 10News the following statement: 

"Coca-Cola Refreshments is committed to investing in our growing business in the San Diego region. We remain focused on providing the highest-quality products and best customer service in San Diego and all of California. To better serve our expanding customer base and evolving consumer needs, and bring greater efficiency to our business, we are consolidating our San Diego warehouse operations into our newly expanded and upgraded Oceanside facility. This will result in closure of our warehouse operations in San Diego. We have informed our associates of the changes and are fully committed to treating every associate with respect and dignity throughout this process."

The layoffs are expected to be completed by the end of July.

Meanwhile, some San Diegans say they don't plan to change their attitudes toward soda.

"All the sugar and the carbonated gas that's in it, I know it's not good for my body, it's not going to do me any good,” said Nina Nive, who said she doesn’t drink soda at all.

Bottled water consumption surpassed soda consumption for the first time in 2016. Americas consumed an average of 39.3 gallons of bottled water, compared to 38.5 gallons of carbonated soft drinks.

“I think that’s sad, I think it’s sad for the employees, it’s sad for the company,” said Paul Trausch, who said he drinks soda three to six times a week. 

The Webster facility will still have workers in operating sales and customer care at its Webster location.