By Naomi Szeben
The Coca-Cola Company today announced that it has acquired the remaining stake in fairlife LLC from its joint venture partner Select Milk Producers. Coca-Cola now owns 100 per cent of fairlife. fairlife will continue to operate as a stand-alone business based in Chicago.
fairlife LLC, which launched in 2012, started with a high-protein milk shake called Core Power and has grown to offer a broad portfolio of products in the fast-growing value-added dairy category in North America.
“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,” fairlife CEO Tim Doelman said in a press release. “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.”
Value-added dairy products have been growing steadily in the United States, in contrast to the traditional fluid milk category.
fairlife’s continued growth has been supported by new product innovation ranging from lactose-free, ultra-filtered milk with less sugar and more protein, to high-protein recovery and nutrition shakes and drinkable snacks.
The brand also has been supported by the reach of Coca-Cola’s U.S. system with products distributed both through the Minute Maid distribution system, as well as by Coca-Cola bottlers across the country. In 2018, fairlife also launched in Canada and will begin local production and sourcing in Ontario in spring 2020.
“fairlife is a great example of how we’re continually expanding our total beverage portfolio to bring people more of the brands they love,” said Jim Dinkins, president of Coca-Cola North America in a press release. “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.”
The company previously owned slightly less than half with a minority stake 42.5 per cent. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.