Australian food giant Goodman Fielder yesterday (5 March) acquired Adelaide-based dip maker Copperpot, in a move that the company said could pave the way for expansion into the Australian dairy market.

Copperpot produces and markets a range of premium dips, pate, yoghurt and cheese under the Copperpot, Attiki and Palmyra brands.

Goodman Fielder MD Peter Margin said the purchase was a good strategic fit with the company's existing spreads business and would facilitate the group's entry into the dairy category.

"This acquisition is a very good strategic fit with the Goodman Fielder brand portfolio. It complements our existing spreads business and provides us with a leading position in a rapidly growing health and convenience category.

"It also gives us an entry point into the Australian dairy market. It creates the opportunity to leverage our strong presence in the New Zealand dairy market and take the first steps in developing a trans-Tasman dairy business," Margin said.

The comments have sparked widespread speculation that the Australian food group could target troubled cooperative Dairy Farmers, of Italian-owned dairy company Parmalat.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.