PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi (shown with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo) and Theo Müller Group CEO Heiner Kamps, joint venture partners in a new U.S. dairy business, held a ceremony to signal the start of a new yogurt manufacturing facility in Batavia, N.Y. The business is known as Muller Quaker Dairy and its facility is said to be one of the largest yogurt manufacturing plants in the United States. The plant is expected to create more than 180 new jobs in upstate New York.
Upstate New York has become the nation's yogurt belt because of the high-quality milk source available from the Empire State's dairy farmers. Other dairy processors making yogurt in the region include Fage (in Johnstown), Chobani (South Edmeston), Emmi Roth (Penn Yan) and Alpina (Batavia). Muller Quaker Dairy is building the 350,000-square-foot facility on an 82-acre parcel of land in Batavia. The first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed in 2013.
Muller Quaker Dairy said it will source its milk supply from U.S. dairy farmers, with the majority coming from New York State and Northeast region dairy farms.
Quaker (as in Quaker Oats) is a PepsiCo brand. PepsiCo, which also owns the Frito-Lay snack brand, has made it known that it wants to develop healthier snacks and foods. PepsiCo's annual revenues are $65 billion.
The Theo Müller Group, with annual revenues of approximately $5 billion, is a holding company headquartered in Luxembourg, Its subsidiaries include a multinational dairy business. The Müller brand originated in Bavaria, Germany.
Muller Quaker Dairy entered the U.S. dairy market last month with premium yogurt products (pictured). It is the first entry by both PepsiCo and Müller into U.S. dairy aisles. The products, Müller Corner, Müller Greek Corner and Müller FrütUp, are touted as "a new way to enjoy yogurt with add-ins you can flip, stir or dip," according to a company press release. They are initially being sold through supermarket and club retailers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (shown in the photo at top) attended the event today. In a statement, he said: "The Muller Quaker Dairy yogurt facility is yet another example of how this is a new New York State, partnering with the private sector to create jobs and grow new industries."
He said the joint venture partnership's commitment to the state "sends a message to businesses across the country and around the world that New York State is a place where businesses can thrive."