A spokesperson for the cooperative told DairyReporter.com that the sale of the operations would allow the group to pursue further possible investment opportunities as well as balance its books.
Both DFA and Grupo Lala suggest the move highlights the potential for producing added value branded dairy goods amidst concerns consumers may be turning to private label or own brand products in the economic downturn.
The cooperative said that although the brands manufactured under the National Dairy operations did not figure into DFA’s seeprate manufacturing processes, it remains focused on its core branded products.
“DFA continues to manufacture its own consumer brand products, including Borden Cheese, Keller's Creamery, Breakstone's Butter and Cache Valley Cheese,” says a spokesperson for the group.
According to the cooperative, the company still owns 21 plants across the US as part of its commitment to producing and packaging shelf-stable dairy products and ingredients. The company’s operations also include joint ventures like Hiland Dairy Foods and Roberts Dairy.
Grupo Lala says the acquisition of National Dairy reflects its own commitments to strengthening its portfolio of branded dairy products along with the company’s foothold in the US market.
To this end, the group said it had also acquired another dairy plant from Wells Dairy back in January 2008, which it claims to have backed with investments to better meet consumer needs.
Aside from just boosting the company’s long-term commitments to expansion in the US, Lala said that the deal reflects the wider importance to the company of manufacturing and marketing value added products.
“The company has a proud history of innovation and new product development based on customer insight and effective brand management,” says a group spokesperson. “[Grupo Lala] has been tremendously successful in the US market to date and looks forward to all the benefits National Dairy brings to the table.”