Multiple Greek yoghurt products have returned to Australian hands following Bega Cheese’s takeover of Japanese-owned Lion’s Dairy and Drinks division.
The $534 million deal means brands like Big M, Dare, Farmers Union, Pura, Dairy Farmers, Yoplait, Daily Juice, Berri and The Juice Brothers will now be all manufactured in Australia.
Speaking to News Corp Australia, Bega Cheese chairman Barry Irvin said the deal marks a new chapter for the business, which was traditionally focused on longer shelf-life products such as infant formula, milk powder and cream cheese.
“What we’re quite excited about is the yoghurt business, so the Yoplait and Farmers Union Greek Style brands we’ve acquired,” Mr Irvin said.
“We think there’s great opportunity to add additional varieties and convenient packs, and to offer products to different age ranges in a healthy way which we are already doing but will look to expand.”
“So our biggest thing is trying to deliver natural products … that are good for consumers in a form that they most desire,” he said.
The Farmers Union Greek Style yoghurts are some of the most yoghurt products in Australia. In 2018, the Farmers Union Greek Style All Natural Yogurt was named one of the best yoghurts on the market by the Australian consumer advocacy group CHOICE.
Mr Irvin said Bega Cheese would also look at expanding the international presence of it’s newly-acquired products in the future, but said there were challenges given their shorter shelf life.
The deal is said to bring more than 2000 workers to Bega Cheese’s workforce.