Yoplait Dairy Crest, the UK-based dairy producer, has formed a new partnership Horizon Organic Holding, the owner of the leading brand of organic milk in the US and UK.
Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will work together to develop new organic yoghurt products under the Rachel's Organic brand in the UK. The yoghurts will then be produced and distributed by Yoplait Dairy Crest, the UK's second largest chilled yoghurt and desserts manufacturer. The company is itself a joint venture between Yoplait of France and Dairy Crest, Britain's leading dairy company.
Horizon Organic already works closely with Dairy Crest after a December 2001 agreement allowing the UK group to manufacture and distribute Horizon's organic milk products in the UK market.
Yoplait Dairy Crest has a long tradition of new product development and will work with Horizon Organic to develop new Rachel's Organic yoghurt and dessert products and packaging suitable for the UK market. The first product will be an organic yoghurt multi-pack.
"Yoplait Dairy Crest has an excellent reputation for bringing innovative yoghurt products to consumers," said Don Gaidano, managing director of Rachel's Organic. "Coupled with our existing processing facility in Wales, Yoplait Dairy Crest's expertise and capacity should allow us to strengthen our position as the fastest-growing organic dairy brand in the UK."
Yoplait Dairy Crest also has established relationships with the leading supermarket chains and food service outlets in the UK, which will provide additional exposure for Rachel's Organic yoghurt products.
"Our agreement with Dairy Crest has been extremely successful," said Chuck Marcy, president and CEO of Horizon Organic. "The agreement has enabled us to introduce Rachel's Organic branded milk, expand our UK customer base and to lower our manufacturing costs. The Yoplait Dairy Crest relationship is a natural extension for both companies and should be a major boost for our yoghurt business."
The agreement should also strengthen the Anglo-French partnership. "We are delighted to play a part in Rachel Organic's further development," said Jamie Robinson, deputy managing director of Yoplait Dairy Crest. "We both share a common interest in providing our customers and consumers with high quality organic products."
Horizon Organic's US products include organic milk, a full line of organic dairy products, organic eggs and juices. In the UK, the company markets organic yoghurt, milk and butter under the Rachel's Organic brand.