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November 11, 2010

UPDATE: GERMANY: Oetker sells Onken to focus on desserts

German food giant Dr Oetker said today (11 November) its sale of the Onken yoghurt brand would allow the company to focus on desserts.

By Dean Best

German food giant Dr Oetker said today (11 November) its sale of the Onken yoghurt brand would allow the company to focus on desserts.

Dr Oetker has decided to sell Onken to Swiss dairy giant Emmi for an undisclosed sum.

Under the terms of the deal, announced this morning, Dr Oetker will continue to manufacture the yoghurt for Emmi at its site in Moers in western Germany.

However, the company’s chairman Richard Oetker said the sale of the brand would allow the group to put its focus elsewhere.

“The sale is taking place as part of our strategy in the chilled-products segment, under which we shall be focusing on our core business, the production and distribution of desserts,” the Oetker chairman said.

Dr Oetker bought dairy firm Onken six years ago in a bid to expand its desserts business.

Since then, a spokesman told just-food, Dr. Oetker has focused more on its desserts operations, which also include brands acquired from the Onken acquisition, while looking for a buyer for the yoghurt business.

“Really the strategy was to sell [the yoghurt off] as soon as possible,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman said chilled desserts was an attractive category for the business due to consumer demand for more convenient products.

He refused to be drawn on the length of the co-packing agreement with Emmi but said it was a “long-term” agreement.

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