Ornua acquires US cheese company Whitehall Specialties, French Dairy Savencia diversifies into plant-based foods

USA – Irish dairy cooperative, Ornua, is set to expand its position in the US dairy ingredients space following the completion of a deal to acquire US cheese ingredients business, Whitehall Specialties Inc (WSI) from private equity firm, Mason Wells.  

 Headquartered in Wisconsin, WSI provides functional cheese solutions to its food manufacturing and food service customers.   

The acquisition complements Ornua’s US Ingredients division, Ornua Ingredients North America (OINA), and is central to Ornua’s long-term growth strategy in the US cheese ingredients market.   

According to OINA, the acquisition increases its current position in the US cheese ingredients market, expanding its production footprint across six facilities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.   

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With such an expanded footprint, Ornua will be better positioned to unlock the necessary growth capacity and flexibility required to support its existing and new customers’ growth plans.  

Ornua CEO, John Jordan, said, “By bringing together two market leaders, in complementary parts of the ingredients sector, we are creating a powerful partnership that builds a strong foundation for a long-term, sustainable future.”   

“We warmly welcome the Whitehall Specialties team and are looking forward to partnering with them as we look to our next stage of growth.”  

Savencia joins the plant-based bandwagon 

As the plant-based category gathers momentum, French dairy company Savencia Fromage & Dairy has decided to join the bandwagon through its recent acquisition of Colorado-based Hope Foods, a brand of hummus and other plant-based dips.  

The acquisition includes the Hope Foods plant in Louisville, CO, which can produce a range of plant-based products. 

“Our core business remains cheese and dairy products, but we want to develop new offers in the plant-based category with taste differentiation and premium brands. Hope is a strategic fit for us to drive growth in premium natural food products,” said Jean-Paul Torris, CEO of Savencia Fromage & Dairy. 

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“Hope enlarges our brands portfolio in the USA into fast growing, ‘better-for-you’ products and provides an excellent opportunity to expand consumer options for great tasting, plant-based products.”  

Hope’s founder, Robbie Rech expressed his excitement to be partnering his “ great brand with a company like Savencia, known throughout the world for some of the best-tasting products on the market.” 

“We believe this partnership represents a terrific opportunity to realize Hope’s potential for leadership within the plant-based products space,” Rech added.  

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