The Coca-Cola Company announced that it has acquired the remaining stake in fairlife LLC from its joint venture partner Select Milk Producers. Coca-Cola now owns 100% of fairlife, up from its previous 42.5% minority stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
fairlife LLC, which launched in 2012, started with a high-protein milk shake called Core Power and has grown to offer a broad portfolio of products in the fast-growing value-added dairy category in North America.
fairlife will continue to operate as a stand-alone business based in Chicago.
“We are excited for the next chapter of fairlife’s growth and innovation and look forward to continuing to work with our partners across the Coca-Cola system to meet fast-changing consumer needs in a vibrant category,” fairlife CEO Tim Doelman said. “We set out in 2012 to harness the power and nutrition of dairy and give people great-tasting products that provide the nutrition they are looking for. Our innovative product lines will continue to grow and improve with the strength and scale of The Coca-Cola Company.”
Value-added dairy products have been growing steadily in the United States, in contrast to the traditional fluid milk category, with great-tasting, nutrient-dense fairlife milk products playing a significant role in that growth.
fairlife® ultra-filtered milk debuted in 2014, and sales have grown sharply since then, with strong double-digit growth each year since launch. According to Nielsen AMC, fairlife surpassed $500 million in retail sales last year.
fairlife’s continued growth has been supported by new product innovation ranging from delicious lactose-free, ultra-filtered milk with less sugar and more protein than competing brands, to high-protein recovery and nutrition shakes and drinkable snacks.
The brand also has been supported by the reach of Coca-Cola’s U.S. system with products distributed both through the Minute Maid distribution system, as well as by Coca-Cola bottlers across the country. In 2018, fairlife also launched in Canada and will begin local production and sourcing in Ontario in spring 2020. fairlife is also continuing to expand production capabilty in the U.S. by complementing production in Coopersville, Mich. and Waco, Texas with a new facility under construction in Goodyear, Ariz.
“fairlife is a great example of how we’re continually expanding our total beverage portfolio to bring people more of the brands they love,” said Jim Dinkins, president of Coca-Cola North America. “This agreement will help ensure that we continue to build on fairlife’s innovative history by combining their entrepreneurial spirit and innovation capabilities with the resources, reach and expertise of Coca-Cola.”
You can read more about the transaction and the future of fairlife in an online Q&A with Jim Dinkins and Tim Doelman here.
about fairlife, LLC
fairlife, LLC was founded in 2012 to produce nourishing and great-tasting milk beverages made using a patented cold-filtration process that removes some natural sugars while concentrating the protein and calcium naturally found in real cows’ milk. The line of delicious, lactose-free fairlife® products includes: fairlife® ultra-filtered milk, which has 50% more protein and 50% less sugar than regular milk; fairlife® with DHA, ultra-filtered milk with DHA Omega-3 fatty acids to support brain health; fairlife YUP!®, a line of flavored milks; fairlife Core Power® High Protein Shakes, a sports nutrition drink to support post-workout recovery; fairlife smart snacks®, a drinkable snack to help curb hunger between meals; fairlife® nutrition plan™, a nutrition shake to support one’s journey to better health; and the newly launched fairlife® creamers, coffee creamers designed to help enhance your coffee experience. In partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, fairlife ultra-filtered milk and Core Power high protein shakes are distributed throughout the United States (U.S.) and Canada; all other fairlife drinks are available in the U.S. To learn more about fairlife and its collection of products, please visit fairlife.com
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories. In addition to the company’s Coca-Cola brand, our portfolio includes AdeS, Ayataka, Costa, Dasani, Del Valle, Fanta, Georgia, Gold Peak, Honest, innocent, Minute Maid, Powerade, Simply, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater and ZICO. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at www.coca-colacompany.com