The new facility is slated to be operational in the second half of 2020, according to the company, and will process approximately 3 to 4 million lbs of milk per day.
“I’m extremely proud that the demand for our milk has grown so much that we now need another manufacturing site," commented Tim Doelman, chief operating officer for fairlife. The new facility will create 140 new jobs in the suburb of Goodyear, Arizona, which is strategically located near the United Dairymen of Arizona (UDA), a dairy cooperative owned by 79 Arizona dairy farms.
"Not only are there amazing dairy farmers in and around Goodyear, its location enables competitive domestic and international production,” added Doelman.
Bring value back to fluid milk category
Demand for fairlife milk products continues to increase as consumers trade up their fluid milk purchases, a category that has been in decline for years. According to USDA data, estimated sales of total conventional fluid milk products decreased 0.5% from January 2018 and estimated sales of total organic fluid milk products decreased 1.3% from a year earlier. Taking a larger step back, per capita fluid milk sales have decreased by more than 15% since 2000.
In contrast, fairlife dollar sales grew by 79% in 2016 [Nielsen all measured channels]. Year-to-date sales have grown 42% vs. last year, a fairlife spokesperson told FoodNavigator-USA.
Made via a cold filtration process that separates milk into water, fat, protein, vitamins & minerals, and lactose (milk sugar) and then recombines them in different proportions to produce lactose-free milk with 50% more protein, 30% more calcium and 50% less sugar than regular milk.
Founded by Indiana dairy farmers Mike and Sue McCloskey in 2012, fairlife rolled out nationally in the US in December 2014, expanded into Canadian markets last year, and has expanded into new sub categories with new product launches including fairlife smart snacks launched earlier this year and fairlife with DHA with 13g of protein and 125mg of DHA Omega 3s per serving. The company's distribution has increased to 95% of all outlets within the supermarkets segment.
“Sometimes, I think back to that day over 20 years ago when Mike and I sat at our kitchen table and came up with the idea of cold-filtering our milk for higher nutrition. We dreamt of a more nutritious milk for consumers," said Sue McCloskey.
"It is extremely rewarding to see the results of our hard work pay off and make this dream a continuing reality."