Unilever is investing $80m into a US facility to boost the production capacity for the functional beverage brand Liquid IV.

The group is expanding and automating parts of its facility in Jefferson City to support the production of its powder mix brand.

Upgrades to the plant include automated packaging lines, a blending room, as well as heating and cooling modifications to the building’s infrastructure.

Liquid IV’s product range consists of powder mixes that Unilever claims enhance the absorption of water into the body, give energy and aid in achieving good sleep cycles.

Unilever acquired Liquid IV in 2020. The powder mix brand was created in California by Brandin Cohen in 2012.

The Jefferson City site has roughly 450 workers. In January, Unilever announced it would invest $25m to extend the site’s storage and warehousing.

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“Securing supply chain resiliency for Liquid IV is a key factor in continuing to drive growth for the brand,” Jostein Solheim, the CEO of Unilever’s Health & Wellbeing business unit, said.

Unilever noted in its annual results statement for 2023 that Liquid IV had “extended its presence” outside of the US with a successful launch in Canada. The group said it plans to roll out the brand to further international markets.

Unilever CFO Fernando Fernandez told investors in an earnings call in February that Liquid IV grew at a double-digit rate in the fourth quarter of the year. He added the group was “shifting resources to the most profitable brands and we are increasing exposure to premium segment, to fast-growing channels, to the United States and we are optimising through portfolio bolt-on acquisitions like this one that really give us a very good exposure.”

In 2023, Unilever generated a group turnover of €59.6bn ($64bn), down 0.8% year on year. The company posted a net profit of €7.1bn, which was also down from the previous year by 13.7%.