(credit: CBS 11 News)

(credit: CBS 11 News)

FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – It’s the hottest type of beverage on store shelves today and the City of Fort Worth hopes to cash in on its popularity.

Energy drink sales are up 60% over the past four years and driving the beverage industry’s growth.

Now, a major distributor, of those type drinks and many others, from North Carolina is eyeing Fort Worth for a new distribution center.

It’s the type of company that makes city planners giddy about the long-term potential.

“I don’t care whether its beer or soft drinks or bottled water or energy drinks, its a resilient industry,” said business analyst Jim LaCamp. “Well, what kind of industry do you want in this environment? You want a resilient industry.”

And Carolina Beverage Group has cashed in on the industry’s resilience. The company started with just a handful of employees and a brewery back in 1997. Now it has more than 200 employees and bottles a huge variety of beverages including top selling energy drinks.

Now, the company is considering expanding into Fort Worth.

Councilman Dennis Shingleton said the company may put a regional distribution center near Alliance Airport.

Initially, the distribution center could hire around 200 people, he said.

But if they make a big enough splash in the regional beverage market, the distribution center would grow much larger.

“If this develops the way they would like it to develop, it would expand to a much larger operation of not only distribution but production,” Shingleton said.

But first, Fort Worth has to beat out competition from a site in Oklahoma.

And Fort Worth will likely throw in tax incentives to sweeten the deal.

“I think we are prepared to provide some level of abatement for them — at least for a short period of time to get them underway,” Shingleton said.

The Fort Worth City Council will discuss incentives for the company during an afternoon pre-council meeting Tuesday.

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