PepsiCo-Muller Joint Venture Yogurt Plant Opens

Officials from PepsiCo Inc. and Germany’s Theo Muller Group on June 3 cut the ribbon on Upstate New York’s newest yogurt manufacturing plant.

Muller Quaker Dairy is a 350,000-sq.-ft. facility sitting on 82 acres of land in Batavia, N.Y. We earlier had an estimated cost for the plant at $206 million. Initially it will have three production lines capable of more than 120,000 cups of yogurt per hour, although the facility can accommodate up to eight lines. It will employ approximately 180.

The company is targeting LEED certification for the facility, which would make it the largest LEED-certified dairy manufacturing plant in the world.

The new facility will serve as a national production and distribution center for Muller yogurt, which launched in select regional markets in 2012.

The company is a joint venture between PepsiCo and Theo Muller, formed in 2011. It marks the entry into the U.S. market for the German dairy and a reach into a new category for PepsiCo, “transforming our portfolio for the future and strengthening our position in high-growth food and beverage categories,” PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said at the ribbon cutting. “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.”

Products manufactured at the plant will include Muller Corner, Muller Greek Corner and Muller FrutUp varieties.

Upstate/Central New York is home to a surprising number of yogurt companies and plants: Chobani in Norwich and South Edmeston, Fage in Johnstown, Alpina in Batavia.

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