Grupo Lala, the Mexico-based dairy business, has confirmed it has snapped up Costa Rica milk brand Mu from local food and beverage supplier Florida Ice and Farm Company.

Lala entered Costa Rica three years ago when it acquired a milk production plant from Florida Ice and Farm Company, also known as FIFCO, in the town of Alajuela. FIFCO still distributes products on behalf of Lala to traditional retailers in Costa Rica.

“The acquisition of this brand was done in line with the strategy we are carrying in the country. Mu is a brand that competes in the mainstream segment, which complements our Lala branded milk positioned as a premium one,” a Lala spokesperson told just-food.

The spokesperson added Lala had paid “less than half a million dollars” for the brand and for “around a hundred refrigerators and some products in stock”.

He added: “We have been producing Mu for some time now in a Costa Rican plant. [It] is sold only in this country’s market as part of a co-packing agreement with FIFCO, so there isn’t a substantial change in the production.”

Costa Rica is one of six Central American markets – outside Mexico – in which Lala operates. In 2018, Lala generated 75% of its MXN75.42bn (US$3.94bn) of revenue in Mexico, with 17% coming from Brazil, 4% from the US and a further 4% from that clutch of Central American markets.

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In the first quarter of this year, Lala opened a new UHT and ice cream plant in Costa Rica at its production base in the country in Alajuela.

In a further statement sent to just-food, Frédéric Gigou, the country manager for Lala’s operations in Costa Rica, said the nation consumed more milk per capita in that bucket of Central American markets.

He added: “Lala fulfills its strategic axes of expanding and consolidating its operations in our country, revitalise the market and offer the consumer other quality alternatives, with high standards, accessible and of important nutritional value.”