Howard M. Dean, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF), announced yesterday that Dean Foods has entered into a strategic alliance with Baskin-Robbins to manufacture and distribute ice cream to Baskin-Robbins’ franchised retail outlets throughout most of the nation. Baskin-Robbins is operated and marketed by Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants (ADQSR). The production will be handled at four Dean Foods locations; Alta-Dena Dairy in Southern California; Creamland Dairies in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Barber Dairy in Birmingham, Alabama and Dean’s Belvidere, Illinois ice cream facility.

In making the announcement, Howard Dean said, “We are extremely pleased that Baskin-Robbins has chosen to align with Dean Foods nationally. Baskin-Robbins is the leading ice cream store chain in the U.S. with a strong franchisee base, terrific brand recognition and a loyal consumer following. Our alliance provides the possibility to extend beyond ice cream production and distribution to a broader relationship that involves Allied Domecq’s other retail food businesses.”

Jack Shafer, Chief Executive Officer, Alled Domecq Quick Service Restaurants (ADQSR) said, “We anticipate this alliance with Dean Foods will benefit Baskin-Robbins and its franchisees as we take advantage of Dean’s experience in manufacturing Baskin-Robbins ice cream and its standing as one of the leading ice cream producers in the country.”

The exclusive supply arrangement gives Dean $85 million in additional ice cream sales and more effectively utilizes Dean’s existing production capacity while extending its distribution reach from coast to coast. Mr. Dean commented, “With this expansion of our business, we have truly become a national ice cream player. We intend to leverage this capability to support continued growth of our regional ice cream brands and to further execute our national ice cream business strategy.”

As the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty stores, Baskin-Robbins creates and markets its innovative, high-quality premium ice cream, specialty frozen desserts and beverages in the company’s more then 4,400 retail stores around the globe. Baskin-Robbins is operated and marketed by Randolph, Mass.- based Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants, which is part of U.K.-based Allied Domecq PLC, one of the world’s largest spirits and quick service restaurant companies. ADQSR also operates Dunkin’ Donuts and Togo’s.

Dean Foods is one of the nation’s leading dairy processors and distributors producing a full line of branded and private label products, including fluid milk, ice cream and extended shelf life products, which are sold under the Dean’s and other strong regional brand names. Dean Foods is the industry leader in other food products including pickles, powdered non-dairy coffee creamers, aseptically packaged foodservice products, and refrigerated dips and salad dressings.