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Muller Quaker Dairy, a joint venture between PepsiCo Inc. and Theo Muller Group opened a state-of-the-art yogurt manufacturing facility in Batavia, N.Y., on June 3. The new facility, which will employ approximately 180 people, will serve as a national production and distribution center for Muller yogurt, which launched in select regional markets in 2012. The yogurt had been made in Europe.
Theo Muller Group is a German multinational dairy company, headquartered in Luxembourg. The Quaker Oats Co., headquartered in Chicago, is a unit of PepsiCo.
The more than 350,000-square-foot facility will have three production lines initially, which can produce more than 120,000 cups of yogurt per hour. The facility can accommodate up to eight production lines with room for future expansion. The company is targeting LEED certification for the facility, which would make it the largest LEED-certified dairy manufacturing plant in the world.
The facility opening was celebrated by United States Senator Charles E. Schumer, PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, Theo Muller Group owner Theo Muller, and various New York state and local officials.
"PepsiCo continues to perform at an extremely high level while simultaneously transforming our portfolio for the future and strengthening our position in high-growth food and beverage categories. We have invested over many years to expand our global nutrition offerings in ways that allow us to capitalize on new growth opportunities, and the new Muller Quaker Dairy facility demonstrates continued progress against this key business priority," said PepsiCo's Nooyi.
"The Theo Muller Group is a tremendous partner whose deep dairy expertise has allowed our joint venture to enter the U.S. market with a delicious product that our consumers absolutely love. Thanks to the support of Senator Schumer and other leaders at the state and local levels, Muller Quaker Dairy has found a great home here in Batavia."
"The Muller Quaker Dairy operation will massively benefit New York's dairy producers and it has helped to make New York State the nation's yogurt capital," said Senator Schumer. "I have long fought to provide communities throughout New York, like Genesee County, with the federal resources and infrastructure they need to land new jobs and attract new employers. This event speaks to what those efforts can achieve."
"Expanding our brand from Europe to the U.S. has been a long-time goal," said Theo Muller. "We are proud to partner with PepsiCo on this important business venture and we look forward to years of success in this country."
As the fastest-growing dairy category in the U.S., yogurt is a $6.2 billion industry that continues to climb, according to Mintel Group Ltd.'s "Yogurt and Yogurt Drinks, U.S. 2012." Muller Quaker Dairy will help satisfy increasing demand for value-added dairy products in the U.S., where per capita consumption of yogurt is generally less than half that of Europe, according to Euromonitor International's Passport data, U.S. and Western Europe, 2012.
The facility sits on 82-acres of land in what has become one of the most concentrated milk producing and processing regions in the country. Muller Quaker Dairy will source milk for the yogurt products locally. Products manufactured at the plant will include Muller Corner, Muller Greek Corner and Muller FrutUp varieties.
For video of the event, visit http://youtu.be/veBt9sz2oFM.