Friday, December 11, 2015

Muller Yogurt Plant in Batavia Closes

A yogurt plant in Batavia that opened to great hoopla and was one of the plants in the yogurt boom in New York state is closed.

The Associated Press reported PepsiCo Inc. and German dairy giant Theo Muller Group ended production Thursday. The plant opened in 2013.

Officials said the plant didn't meet expectations in a competitive and dynamic marketplace.

The Associated Press states national milk marketing cooperative Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to purchase the Muller Quaker Dairy, co-op spokeswoman Monica Massey said Thursday. She said the cooperative is exploring several milk handling and manufacturing options for the plant.

The Associated Press says about 64 of the plant's 170 jobs are expected to be cut and transition assistance will be offered. He said the others are expected to be retained by the dairy cooperative.

New York has been the top U.S. yogurt producer for several years because of the booming Greek yogurt sector. Other plants in the state are run by Chobani, Fage and Byrne.

The Muller plant was mentioned as one of the success stories in the Finger Lakes region proposal for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent economic development competition called Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

It was announced Thursday -- the same day the plant closed -- that the Finger Lakes region was one of three winners in the state economic development competition. The region will receive $500 million over five years for projects in the area.

Muller yogurt has been a popular brand in Europe for more than a century. Muller products including dessert-inspired flavors like Raspberry Brownie Supreme and Dulce de Leche Delight will disappear from U.S. shelves after current stocks are sold, the PepsiCo spokesman told the Associated Press.

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