Muller Quaker's former yogurt production equipment ready for auction
State-of-the-art production equipment from the former Muller/Quaker Dairy greek yogurt plant in Batavia, New York, will be offered at auction Sept. 13 by Harry Davis & Company.
Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) this week announced the facility — originally constructed by Muller-Quaker to process yogurt via a joint venture formed in 2011 between PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats Co. unit and Germany’s Theo Müller Group — has been purchased by HP Hood LLC. HP Hood will invest more than $200 million over several years to repurpose the 363,000-square-foot, currently idle processing facility to produce extended shelf-life beverages.
Meanwhile, the remaining state-of-the-art production equipment is being offered at auction by Harry Davis & Company.
Leonard Davis, president and senior appraiser for Harry Davis & Company, says this is a rare opportunity for processors to purchase equipment from 2012 or newer that was used for only 18 months of production time.
“This is a virtual showroom of equipment,” he says. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for the dairy world to purchase this equipment.”
He notes in particular the equipment available for production of Greek yogurt, which has soared in popularity at retail.
In addition to getting ultra-modern equipment at significant savings, Davis says it’s a rare opportunity to get equipment of this quality so quickly.
“Typically, if you wanted to get one of these filling machines, you’re looking at 18-24 months of lead time,” he says. “This is an opportunity to acquire like-new equipment well below new cost and have it installed and running in a matter of weeks.”
Some of the featured equipment, valued at $200 million, includes: • Aseptic S/S Silos & Tanks
• Pasteurization, Homogenization & Culture Injection
• Finnah Horizontal Form, Fill & Seal Packaging Lines
• Hamba/Oystar A+F Filling Line
• Kasag Fruit Batch Cooking Plant.
Since the former yogurt plant added fruit to some of its varieties, state-of-the-art fruit processing equipment also is available, including a fruit receiving, sorting and cutting system, Davis notes.
“There’s a complete fruit production sub-facility within this plant,” he says. “It’s highly desirable not only for other yogurt manufacturers, but also those involved in jam and other fruit manufacturing.”
Additional general plant and spare parts also are available.
Harry Davis & Company is seeking buyers from North America, South America and Europe. Interested parties can access the auction online at http://bit.ly/MullerHDC. The auction will be held at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time Sept. 13.
Photos provided. (click here for more photos)
Knowing and talking to several people who worked at this plant, I come to the conclusion that they produced a superior product, but it was a massive marketing disaster. They could not compete against more well known brands like Dannon, etc. Another top management misstep like Kodak. A lot or worker bees got hurt.
They positioned the yogurt as Greek, but it wasn't. If they had sold it as just yogurt and targeted kids and young people (it was a rather sweet snack), that might have worked. It wasn't as healthy a product as they claimed.
Some businesses succeed. Some fail. That's just life.