Coca-Cola acquires Chicago-based dairy beverage brand fairlife

USA – The Coca-Cola Company has acquired full ownership in American dairy beverage brand, fairlife after purchasing the remaining 57.5% stake in the company from joint venture partner Select Milk Producers.

fairlife will continue to operate as a stand-alone business based in Chicago with the support and expertise of The Coca-Cola Company.

“We are excited for the next chapter of fairlife’s growth and innovation and look forward to continuing to work with our partners across the Coca-Cola system to meet fast-changing consumer needs in a vibrant category,” fairlife CEO Tim Doelman said.

The dairy beverage brand, which launched in 2012, started with a high-protein milk shake called Core Power and has grown to offer a broad portfolio of products in the fast-growing value-added dairy category in North America.

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“We set out in 2012 to harness the power and nutrition of dairy and give people great-tasting products that provide the nutrition they are looking for. Our innovative product lines will continue to grow and improve with the strength and scale of The Coca-Cola Company.”

Growing category

Compared to the traditional fluid milk category, value-added dairy products have been growing steadily in the United States, with fairlife milk products playing a significant role in that growth.

Fairlife ultra-filtered milk debuted in 2014, and sales have grown sharply since then, with strong double-digit growth each year since launch. According to Nielsen AMC, fairlife surpassed US$500 million in retail sales in 2019.

According to the company, its continued growth has been supported by new product innovation range with a rich nutritional profile.

The brand also has been supported by the reach of Coca-Cola’s US system with products distributed both through the Minute Maid distribution system, as well as by Coca-Cola bottlers across the country.

In 2018, fairlife also launched in Canada and will begin local production and sourcing in Ontario in spring 2020.

The company is also continuing to expand production capabilty in the US by complementing production in Coopersville, Michigan and Waco, Texas with a new facility under construction in Goodyear, Ariz.

“fairlife is a great example of how we’re continually expanding our total beverage portfolio to bring people more of the brands they love,” said Jim Dinkins, president of Coca-Cola North America.

“This agreement will help ensure that we continue to build on fairlife’s innovative history by combining their entrepreneurial spirit and innovation capabilities with the resources, reach and expertise of Coca-Cola.”

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