This will see ONI utilize a new, purpose-built production facility at its UK headquarters in Leek to blend and pack Irish dairy powders into the full range of EasiYo natural and flavored yogurt mixes for the UK and European markets.
This will be the first time that EasiYo has been produced outside of New Zealand.
EasiYo is a system where an ingredients sachet is mixed with water in a yogurt maker, and fermented for eight to 12 hours to create 1kg of yogurt.
ONI is a subsidiary of the €2.5bn ($2.7bn) Irish agri-food cooperative Ornua. Ornua’s strategic objective is to develop opportunities for the export of Irish dairy products, and the milk powder being utilized in the mix will be sourced from Ireland.
The partnership between ONI and EasiYo is a joint investment of approximately £700,000 ($862,000) to establish a dedicated blending facility coupled with high-speed sachet packing lines.
Alastair Jackson, managing director of ONI, told DairyReporter that the company has created a line specifically for EasiYo.
“The new facility was created specifically for this venture; it's effectively a mini-factory within our factory,” Jackson said.
“What we've done is converted what was an old forklift truck area and engineering store into a bespoke EasiYo packing room, with its own team.”
The new facility has also been supported by a £97,000 ($119,000) Regional Growth Fund grant from Stoke–on-Trent City Council.
Jackson said that production has been a phasing out of the New Zealand supply chain into the UK supply chain.
“We started in October, we're only one shift at the moment, we're looking to move to two shifts in the spring once we get more volumes through; it will create 20 new jobs once we get up to the second shift.”
Jackson said that EasiYo is expanding in the UK and in Europe.
“The potential for the product and the brand is enormous, so we're delighted to be a part of that growth strategy,” Jackson said.
Brian Dewar, CEO at EasiYo Products said the UK and EU markets represent an opportunity to capitalize on the growing consumer trend of people who love to make fresh wholesome food at home.
More than 30 flavors
The sachets come in more than 30 flavors, including natural, Greek style, banana, strawberry, Greek Style coconut & bits, and vanilla.
The 1kg EasiYo Yogurt Maker costs £16.99 ($20.93); a 6x135g sachet pack of unsweetened natural yogurt mix is £11.89 ($14.65) and a 5x165g sachet pack of Greek Yogurt mix costs £12.49 ($15.39).
As each sachet creates 1kg of product; the Greek Yogurt mix works out to £2.50 ($3.08) per kg.
The EasiYo range is currently stocked in the UK at Lakeland, Holland & Barrett, The Range, QVC and online at www.easiyo.com.