Meiji is providing further investment for Danone’s tablet infant-formula production at the French dairy giant’s plant in Ireland.
Meiji Food Europe, set up in Amsterdam by the Japanese parent company in 2020 under a manufacturing agreement with Danone’s Specialised Nutrition division, is providing €10.5m ($11.5m) in new funds for the facility in Wexford.
The cash is intended to enable the French business to increase production capacity of the pre-measured dissolvable tab format formula introduced into the UK in 2021 under Danone’s Aptamil brand.
Last year, Danone rolled out the tabs into other European markets, namely France, Italy, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Parent company Meiji Holdings said in a statement yesterday (10 January) that its subsidiary, Meiji Co., is providing the funds. “The amount will be equivalent to the amount of investment for increasing production capacity.”
Meiji added: “New production equipment will be designed based on the state-of-the-art production equipment at Meiji’s Saitama factory and is expected to provide efficiency.”
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Just Food has asked Danone for comment on the new investment and for some finer detail regarding the production increase and nature of the agreement with Meiji. The Japanese business said yesterday it has now invested €22.5m in the venture.
Meiji Co. announced the memorandum of understanding with Danone in May 2020. “The tablets will be produced by Meiji’s only tablet production technology using Danone infant-formula recipes,” the Japanese company said at the time.
Danone said in a March 2021 statement as it rolled out the tabs in the UK: “By installing Meiji’s tab production technology at Danone’s formula-milk facility here in Wexford, Ireland, Danone can source and produce formula milk in this new format locally for the UK market, and that helps reduce our carbon footprint.”