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Dr Oetker sells Onken yoghurt, concentrates on fresh desserts
Our Bureau
Date of posting: 22-11-10
      German food group Dr. Oetker is selling the Onken yoghurt brand to Swiss dairy company Emmi, despite a 'record year for the brand', for an undisclosed sum. Onken specialises in the production of natural and fruit yogurts in 450 and 500 gram pots, which are sold in the UK and in Germany.

      With effect from 1 January 2011, Emmi will acquire the global brand rights for the Onken brand from Dr Oetker. Production will remain in Germany. By acquiring the brand, Emmi will consolidate its market position in both countries, thus improving market access for Swiss exports. The Onken brand is strongest in the UK, where according to Emmi it is number one in the large pot category, and Germany.

      The deal will lead Dr Oetker, which also makes frozen pizza and home baking ingredients, to exit the UK chilled deserts market. Oetker wants to concentarte its business with fresh chilled products to desserts. Only these as well as Crème Fraiche will be part of the core business of the family owned company.

      Emmi wants to expand further as one of Europe’s leading suppliers of premium dairy products and is focusing on the key markets of Italy, the USA, Benelux, Germany and the UK to achieve this.

      Richard Ilsley, managing director said: "The UK team has worked hard to develop the Onken yogurt business and 2010 will be a record year for the brand, however ultimately the yogurt category is not core to the Dr Oetker business and the sale of the Onken brand to Emmi will ensure it receives the correct level of support and focus going forwards.

      Urs Emmi sees the UK market as "characterized by a high degree of affinity for Swissness, with consumers prepared to pay slightly more for a high-quality product".

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