Meijer, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer, has acquired the plant operations at Bareman’s Dairy, a family-owned company based in Holland, Mich. Meijer’s move into dairy production also will include a more than $8 million investment to expand the Bareman’s dairy plant in Holland.
“This is an exciting day for our company,” said Co-Chairman and CEO Hank Meijer. “As Meijer continues to grow, it’s crucial we invest in the operations that will help us keep our promise of higher standards and lower prices to our customers. Expanding into dairy operations will do just that.”
The new Purple Cow Creamery, named after the ice cream shops inside many Meijer stores and the famous Purple Cow cards frequently handed out by the late Fred Meijer, will produce white and chocolate milk in gallon and half-gallon sizes for the 101 Meijer stores located in Michigan.
While it will be several months before the facility begins shipping milk products to Meijer stores, Meijer will assume ownership of the dairy plant operations April 1. In addition, Carlinville, Ill.-based Prairie Farms Dairy has acquired the rights to the Bareman’s Dairy brand and all Bareman’s distribution facilities, along with exclusive rights to distribute Bareman’s brand products throughout the Great Lakes region.
“The creation of the Purple Cow Creamery is an important step forward as we continue to expand our manufacturing operations,” said Rick Keyes, EVP of supply chain and manufacturing. “Producing our own Meijer brand milk allows us to continue to focus on keeping prices low for our customers, while also reducing the number of food miles for a very important product.”