PepsiCo, Theo Muller to Enter U.S. Dairy Market With Euro-Style Yogurt

Published in CSP Daily News

Muller Quaker Dairy joint venture will offer Muller Corner, Greek Corner, FrutUp

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- PepsiCo Inc. and Theo Muller Group, the largest privately held dairy business in Germany, announced today their U.S. joint venture, Muller Quaker Dairy, will enter the growing U.S. dairy market in mid-July with premium yogurt products that have never before been available to U.S. consumers. These products--Muller Corner, Muller Greek Corner and Muller FrutUp--mark the first entry by either PepsiCo or Muller into U.S. dairy aisles.

Together, PepsiCo and Muller will complement each other's strengths and expect to drive growth for both companies.

PepsiCo brings scale as the largest U.S. food and beverage business with corresponding research and development programs, go-to-market systema and marketing and brand recognition across its portfolio of brands. PepsiCo has a history of deep consumer insights and products with a legacy of taste and affordable convenience, it said. The Quaker Oats Co., a unit of PepsiCo, brings one of the most trusted brands in the world and is known for wholesome breakfast and snack foods that provide nutritional benefits throughout the day.

Muller has decades of category-leading innovation and dairy expertise, it said, having grown to become Germany's largest privately held dairy business, and one of Europe's most well-known yogurt producers.

The Muller Quaker Dairy joint venture also will satisfy the increasing demand for value-added dairy products in the United States, where variety and innovation within the category lags behind other regions, especially Europe, according to the companies. U.S. consumption of yogurt and other value-added dairy products is generally less than half that of Europe, the said, citing Euromonitor 2011 data.

The following yogurts will be sold through supermarket and club retailers in 17 markets in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. starting this summer:

Muller Corner and Muller Greek Corner offer a new way to enjoy yogurt with add-ins consumers can flip, stir or dip. Corner varieties include Blueberry, Strawberry, Crispy Crunch, Choco Balls, Chocolate Flakes and Crunchy Granola. The Greek-style varieties include Honeyed Apricot, Strawberry, Blackberry & Raspberry and Caramelized Almonds.

Muller FrutUp varieties include Blueberry Bliss, Very Cherry, Luscious Lemon, Peach Passion Fruit, Radiant Raspberry and Splendid Strawberry, starting with fruit fresh from farmers and prepared onsite with the yogurt. The fruit is on top for scooping, swirling or mixing.

Markets where Muller Quaker Dairy yogurt will be available include New York; Boston; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Hartford/New Haven, Conn.; Providence, R.I.; New Bedford, Buffalo, Albany/Schenectady/Troy, Rochester, N.Y.; Portland, Maine; Baltimore; Harrisburg, Norfolk/Portsmouth, Greensboro, Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pa.; and Richmond and Roanoke, Va.

"Our partnership with PepsiCo is a great expansion of our business, and we are excited to introduce new consumers to the wide variety of deliciously enjoyable yogurts that have made Muller a household name throughout Europe," said Stefan Muller, Theo Muller Group, member of the board. "Our capabilities in yogurt and other value-added dairy products, combined with the strength of PepsiCo's distribution systems, deep consumer insights, diverse portfolio of brands and expertise in areas like fruits and grains, will open the door to new options we think consumers are going to love."

The joint venture is building a new yogurt manufacturing plant in Batavia, N.Y. Once completed in 2013, it will be one of the largest yogurt plants in the United States, and it is expected to create more than 180 new jobs in upstate New York.

Based in Luxembourg, the Theo Muller Group is a holding company whose subsidiaries include a multinational dairy business. The Muller brand originates in Bavaria, Germany, and has been producing popular yogurt and other products for more than 100 years. Founded as a family dairy farm in 1896 by Ludwig Muller, today his grandson Theo owns the hugely successful business.

Under the management of CEO Heiner Kamps and members of the board Stefan Muller and Dr. Henrik Bauwens, the Theo Muller Group companies generate annual revenues of approximately $5 billion and have nearly 21,000 employees.

Quaker Oats, Chicago, is a unit of PepsiCo. For more than 130 years, Quaker's brands have served as symbols of quality, great taste and nutrition. Holding No. 1 positions in their respective categories are Quaker Oats, Quaker Rice Cakes and Quaker Chewy Granola Bars.

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Its main businesses--Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola--make hundreds of foods and beverages. PepsiCo Foodservice was a title sponsor of the RLC conference for the 11th consecutive year.