By The Associated Press
DALLAS — Beverage and snack giant PepsiCo continued its march into Dean Foods’ territory with the announcement early Monday that it will enter the U.S. yogurt business through a joint venture with the largest privately held dairy business in Germany.
PepsiCo and Theo Muller Group will launch Muller Quaker Dairy, and enter the growing U.S. dairy market in mid-July. The JV plans to sell premium yogurt products that have never before been available to U.S. consumers. The products — Muller Corner, Muller Greek Corner and Muller FrutUp — mark the first entry by either PepsiCo or Muller into U.S. dairy aisles.
The products will be available in 17 markets in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. starting this summer.
PepsiCo has been adjusting its portfolio to reduce reliance on sugary soft drinks and salty snacks. The company also owns Quaker Foods.
While most of the sales for Dallas-based Dean Foods come from liquid milk, it does have a stake in the yogurt market through its Horizon Organic brand. Organic yogurt was the first Horizon product produced, according to the company’s website.
PepsiCo has been edging into the dairy space for years. Last year it completed the acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, a dairy-products company based in Russia.