Muller Quaker Dairy, the joint venture between PepsiCo and German dairy giant Theo Müller Group, has officially opened a $206m, 350,000+ square foot factory in Batavia, New York - one of the largest yogurt manufacturing plants in the US.
The JV has been rolling out Müller yogurts to more US cities in the Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and Southeast regions this year after a successful launch on the east coast last summer.
The first three products from Müller in the US are Müller Corner (yogurt with a side compartment of toppings you add yourself), Müller Greek Corner, and Müller FrütUp (yogurt and fruit mousse).
In launch cities, the new lines are available in Dillons, Dominick's, Giant Eagle, Hannaford, Kroger, Meijer, Pathmark, Publix, Safeway, Shop Rite, Stop and Shop, Walmart and Winn-Dixie, while club packs are available at select Costco, Sam's Club and BJ's wholesale club.
The official opening was celebrated on Monday (June 3) by US Senator Charles E. Schumer, PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, Theo Muller Group owner Theo Muller, and various New York state and local officials.
The site will initially operate three production lines capable of producing more than 120,000 cups of yogurt per hour, but can accommodate up to eight production lines with room for future expansion.
The US market for dairy is growing, but remains largely untapped
Speaking to us when the JV was first announced, PepsiCo said it was confident it could capture a sizeable share of the US yogurt market, adding:
“While the dairy category has grown significantly in recent years, it is nowhere near its full potential. The US market for dairy is growing, but remains largely untapped.”
Market researchers contacted by this publication when news of the joint venture first broke, said a new market entrant such as PepsiCo could breathe fresh life into the fixture and generate incremental sales rather than merely stealing market share off the top two players.