Given that New York state is the nation's yogurt capital, it's not surprising that Muller Quaker Dairy, a joint venture between PepsiCo, Inc. and Theo Muller Group, opened a new state-of-the-art yogurt manufacturing facility in Batavia, New York on Monday.
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.
"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,” said PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.
“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 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 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.
As the fastest-growing dairy category in the U.S., yogurt is a $6.2 billion industry that continues to climb. In the U.S., where per capita consumption of yogurt is generally less than half that of Europe.
"Expanding our brand from Europe to the U.S. has been a long-time goal," said Theo Muller, owner of the Theo Muller Group owner.