USA – The world’s largest beverage producer, Coca-Cola, is expanding production capacity for Fairlife milk brands by investing US$650 million in setting up a new manufacturing facility in the Northeast of New York.
According to Fairlife CEO, Tim Doelman, the site is expected to source from local milk co-operatives and distribute them to retailers across the region.
“Consumer demand for Fairlife products is at an all-time high, and a new production facility will allow us to significantly increase capacity and deliver Fairlife to even more households across the country,” he pointed out.
Groundbreaking and construction of the new facility are expected to begin in Q4 2023, following due diligence and appropriate approvals.
The beverage giant explained that it chose Town of Webster because it is well situated between dairy cooperatives in the Rochester and Niagara regions, with a surrounding workforce that has the relevant manufacturing and food and beverage experience, making it the ideal location for Fairlife’s expansion.
Fairlife, which launched in 2012, started with a high-protein milkshake aimed at athletes and has since expanded into other value-added dairy products, including its popular milk and ice cream.
Its ultra-filtered milk facility processes milk by removing lactose and much of the sugar and leaves behind more protein and calcium as Coca-Cola highlighted.
The brand has grown nearly 30% year to date and currently, a quarter of all U.S. households purchase a Fairlife product, Coca-Cola cited.
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said that Coca-Cola, which previously owned a 42.5% minority stake in Fairlife, acquired the remaining stake from its joint venture partner Select Milk Producers, a dairy cooperative, in 2020.
“As we continue to grow in the Northeast, Webster’s proximity and access to best-in-class dairy farmers make it an excellent location to support our next phase of growth in the region and beyond,” Quincey noted.
He added that as the brand continues its expansion in the Northeast, the New York location’s proximity, and access to dairy farmers “make it an excellent location to support the company’s next phase of growth.”
Coca-Cola is the latest large CPG company to build a new plant or expand an existing facility to prepare for an increase in sales of a product.
The dairy industry is New York’s largest agricultural sector with a significant contribution to the state’s economy.