The Coca-Cola Company has agreed to fully acquire US-based dairy beverage brand Fairlife, by purchasing the remaining 57.5% stake in the company from joint venture partner Select Milk Producers for an undisclosed sum.
Fairlife launched in 2012, and the brand now markets a broad portfolio of dairy-based beverage products such as high-protein milkshakes, recovery drinks and ultra-filtered milk products.
The brand holds a strong position in the fast-growing value-added dairy category, and Coca-Cola claims that Fairlife registered $500 million in retail sales last year alone.
Fairlife will continue to operate as a standalone business based in Chicago following the acquisition.
Despite faltering sales of traditional fluid milk products, value-added dairy products are growing steadily in the US market, with consumers actively seeking dairy products with lower levels of sugar, fat and higher protein content.
Coca-Cola claims that the Fairlife brand has capitalised on this demand with its product range, as its portfolio includes ultra-filtered milk which contains less sugar and more protein than competing brands, while the company also markets lactose-free products to cater to a wider range of consumers.
Jim Dinkins, president of Coca-Cola North America, said: “Fairlife is a great example of how we’re continually expanding our total beverage portfolio to bring people more of the brands they love.
“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.”
Fairlife CEO Tim Doelman added: “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.
“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.”
By Martin White
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