WhiteWave, Hero Group form joint venture

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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BROOMFIELD, COLO. — WhiteWave Foods Co., a subsidiary of Dean Foods Co. and Hero Group, a Switzerland-based company, have announced a joint venture to introduce chilled fruit products in North America.

The 50/50 joint venture will be called Hero/WhiteWave, and it will serve as a growth platform for both companies to further extend their global reach. Hero produces international fruit and infant nutrition brands Hero and Beech-Nut.

"I look forward to the new opportunities the joint venture brings to both companies," said Joseph E. Scalzo, president and chief executive officer of WhiteWave Foods. "WhiteWave and Hero both enjoy a rich legacy of bringing innovative, healthy foods to consumers. We also share a common vision and commitment to innovation and proven brand leadership. Together, we’re ready to break the mold of similar goods currently on the U.S. market."

The first product the joint venture will introduce is called Fruit2Day, which is an on-the-go chilled convenient fruit snack. It will be rolled out for nationwide distribution by mid-2009.

"We believe that North America is ready for new, ground-breaking chilled fruit category innovations, and we have found the ideal partner with Dean Foods," said Stefan F. Heidenreich, chief executive officer of Hero Group. "Dean’s WhiteWave division was a natural match for us because of our shared passion for providing innovative, nutritious products to consumers. We believe this partnership provides a compelling market opportunity."

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