PepsiCo and Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller, the German dairy group, have formally opened their yoghurt plant in New York state.

The two companies have been selling a range of Muller-branded products in parts of the US since last summer but the opening of the plant in Batavia yesterday (3 June) marked their plans to launch yoghurt nationwide.

Per capita consumption of yoghurt in the US is below levels seen in Europe but demand for the product has jumped in the last decade amid growing demand for healthier products.

Greek yoghurt has driven the growth in the category in recent years. The Muller yoghurts on offer include a Greek line that will take on products from the likes of Chobani, Danone and General Mills.

The 350,000 square foot facility will have three production lines initially, which can produce more than 120,000 cups of yoghurt an hour. Around 180 staff will be employed at the site. The facility can house another five lines.

Click here for analysis on what awaits the PepsiCo/Muller venture in the US yoghurt sector.