November 4, 2008
WhiteWave Foods and Hero Group Partner in North America
BROOMFIELD, Colo., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- WhiteWave Foods Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dean Foods Company and Hero Group (Switzerland) today announced a strategic joint venture to introduce new innovative chilled fruit products to North America. The 50/50 joint venture, called Hero/WhiteWave, joins the expertise of Dean Foods' WhiteWave Foods division, maker of Silk(R) soymilk and Horizon Organic(R), with Hero Group, producer of international fruit and infant nutrition brands Hero and Beech-Nut.
The joint venture, based in Broomfield, Colorado, serves as a strategic growth platform for both companies to further extend their global reach by leveraging each other's established innovation, technology, manufacturing and distribution capabilities over time.Hero/WhiteWave brings together the natural and organic brand leadership of Dean Foods' WhiteWave division with Hero's history and strength as the number one global jam producer and leader in chilled fruit solutions and infant nutrition. Together, they will introduce American consumers to new innovative chilled fruit products that made Hero a leader in its respective markets in Europe.
"I look forward to the new opportunities the joint venture brings to both companies," said Joseph E. Scalzo, President and CEO of WhiteWave Foods. "WhiteWave and Hero both enjoy a rich legacy of bringing innovative, healthy foods to consumers. We also share a common vision and commitment to innovation and proven brand leadership. Together, we're ready to break the mold of similar goods currently on the U.S. market."
"We believe that North America is ready for new, ground-breaking chilled fruit category innovations, and we have found the ideal partner with Dean Foods," said Stefan F. Heidenreich, Hero Group CEO. "Dean's WhiteWave division was a natural match for us because of our shared passion for providing innovative, nutritious products to consumers. We believe this partnership provides a compelling market opportunity."
The first Hero/WhiteWave product, which is called Fruit2Day(TM), will be an innovative new healthy food product that offers consumers a surprising and convenient way to enjoy the goodness of fruit. Fruit2Day is a satisfying on- the-go chilled convenient fruit snack that offers a completely new way to experience fruit and helps consumers overcome common barriers to getting more fruit in their diets. It will be the first product of its kind in U.S. stores and has successfully launched and continues to grow in major European markets. Fruit2Day will be rolled out for nationwide distribution by mid-2009.
Dean Foods' third quarter earnings release was also issued today under separate cover.
ABOUT WHITEWAVE FOODS
WhiteWave Foods was established when Dean Foods Company consolidated much of its branded business into one consumer packaged goods organization. Headquartered in Colorado, the company is a pioneer in creating healthy, innovative, responsibly produced foods, including organic and natural leaders Horizon Organic(R), Silk(R) Soymilk and Rachel's(TM) yogurt, and indulgent favorites International Delight(R) and LAND O'LAKES(TM) cultured and liquid dairy products. For more information, visit http://www.whitewavefoods.com/.
ABOUT HERO GROUP
Hero Group, an international nutrition-focused branded consumer-foods group, was founded in 1886 in Switzerland, and is committed to producing high-quality, nutritious products in its core product categories of Infant Nutrition and Fruit. Hero's operations are based predominantly in Europe, North America and Middle East Africa. In North America, Hero markets leading brands in Infant Nutrition (Beech-Nut), Decoration & Seasonal Products (Cake Mate, Paas, Pumpkin Masters, Houston Harvest) and Jams (Hero).
ABOUT DEAN FOODS
Dean Foods is one of the leading food and beverage companies in the United States. The Company's DSD Dairy segment is the largest processor and distributor of milk and other dairy products in the country, with products sold under more than 50 familiar local and regional brands and a wide array of private labels. The Company's WhiteWave-Morningstar segment markets and sells a variety of nationally branded dairy and dairy-related products, as well as the third largest organic yogurt brand in the United Kingdom. Additionally, our WhiteWave-Morningstar segment markets and sells private label cultured and extended shelf life dairy products through our Morningstar platform.
Contacts: Investors: Barry Sievert, Investor Relations (214) 303-3437 Media: Marguerite Copel, Corporate Communications (214) 721-1273
WhiteWave Foods Company
CONTACT: Barry Sievert, Investor Relations, +1-214-303-3437, orMarguerite Copel, Corporate Communications, +1-214-721-1273, both of WhiteWaveFoods Company
Web site: http://www.deanfoods.com/http://www.whitewavefoods.com/