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December 18, 2020

Lactalis to acquire Canadian yogurt business Ultima Foods from Agropur

French dairy group Lactalis has moved to acquire a yogurt business in Canada, along with brands and manufacturing facilities.

By Dean Best

French dairy group Lactalis has moved to acquire Canadian yogurt business Ultima Foods from the country’s Agropur cooperative.

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The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
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  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
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The transaction is subject to competition approval and will be conducted via Lactalis’ Canadian subsidiary for an undisclosed sum. The deal will include Ultima Foods’ brands, its manufacturing facilities in Granby, Quebec, and Delta in British Columbia, along with a “leased” distribution centre in Longueuil, also in Quebec.

Mark Taylor, the president and CEO of Lactalis in Canada, said: “As a broadly-based dairy products company in Canada, producing and supplying a wide variety of popular brands, this transaction will reinforce Lactalis Canada’s position in the dairy category and will help enable key customer partners in both the retail and foodservice channels meet the growing consumer demand for yogurt products.” 

Privately-owned Lactalis will inherit around 450 new workers from the deal, taking the subsidiary’s workforce in Canada to around 3,500.

Agropur became the sole owner of Ultima Foods in 2017 when it took control of what was a 50-50 joint venture with Agrifoods International. Ultima Foods owns the iogo and Olympic yogurt brands.

Lactalis has instigated a number of M&A deals of late, especially in North America. In September, the company acquired a clutch of cheese brands from US food major Kraft Heinz, including Breakstone’s and Athenos.

In 2019, it bought the US yogurt business of Germany-based Ehrmann – Ehrmann Commonwealth Dairy – adding to its own brands Stonyfield (purchased in 2017) and Siggi’s (acquired in 2018) on sale in the country.

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Free Report
img

What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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