Valio has invested in a new snacks production facility

Valio has invested in a new snacks production facility

Finnish dairy firm Valio is looking to up its presence in the dairy snacks sector, announcing an EU170m (US$232m) investment into a new production facility.

Construction of the new factory in Riihimaki, Finland, close to the existing Valio Herajoki dairy plant, is expected to be complete by the end of 2016. The current dairy will continue to produce liquid milk after the new plant is complete.

The new factory will focus on the production of "value-added products" such as Eila lactose-free products, yoghurts and high protein products.

"The new plant will enable us to expand our snack products range in Sweden further. We need to be nimble and responsive, especially in the rapidly growing lactose free yoghurt segment," says Iiro Wester, managing director of Valio's Swedish subsidiary.

The plant is expected to create "dozens" of new jobs in production and warehousing operations said the firm in a statement.

In addition to the Riihimaki investment, EUR2.5m was injected into the Seinajoki plant with the aim of increasing cottage cheese capacity.