Entering U.S. Dairy Market, PepsiCo Unveils Yogurt Joint Venture

By RetailFOXBusiness

Known for its namesake soda brands and snack food like Doritos, PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) is leaping into the U.S. dairy market through a yogurt joint venture with German dairy giant Theo Muller.

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The two companies unveiled a pact on Monday to sell European-style premium yogurt in the    U.S. later this month.

The joint venture, called Muller Quaker Dairy, plans to sell a trio of yogurt offerings: Muller Corner, Muller Greek Corner and Muller FrutUp.

This marks the first attempt by either PepsiCo or Muller to offer dairy products in the U.S. Last year PepsiCo acquired Wimm-Bill-Dann, Russia’s largest dairy company, for $5.8 billion.

“As we've seen through the success of our dairy business in other parts of the world, this is a category with strong growth prospects,” Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement. “There is no better partner PepsiCo could have in order to meet historic U.S. consumer demand for premium yogurt.”

The Muller yogurt products will join other Quaker brands, including Quaker Oatmeal, Quaker granola bars and Rice-A-Roni.

The joint venture also announced plans to build a yogurt manufacturing plant in Batavia, N.Y. that is expected to be completed in 2013 and create more than 180 new jobs in upstate New York.

"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 Muller board member Stefan Muller.

Shares of PepsiCo dipped 0.18% to $70.10 Monday, leaving them up about 5.8% so far in 2012 yet flat over the past 12 months.