What's on the WhiteWave Horizon?

As Dean Foods completes spinoff, organic milk brand mulling cookies, crackers

DALLAS & BLOOMFIELD, Colo. -- Dean Foods Co. has announced that it has completed its spinoff of The WhiteWave Foods Co. And WhiteWave, the maker of Horizon Organic milk, is looking beyond its core dairy product lines to introduce snacks such as cookies and crackers, said the Associated Press.

WhiteWave CEO Gregg Engles said the dry-goods snacks should be available within the next year, although he declined to be more specific. Horizon Organic, which bears a logo of a leaping cartoon cow against a red backdrop, was established in 1991 and is a major seller of branded organic milk.

In addition to milk, Horizon Organic also makes yogurt for kids, cheese sticks, butter, cottage cheese and cream cheese.

Organic milk has been growing rapidly over the past decade but still only accounts for roughly 5% of the broader dairy market, Engles told the news agency. While traditional milk has been declining, he said organic milk is expected to grow at mid-single digits in coming years, he said.

That promising growth prospect was one reason Dean Foods spun off WhiteWave.

"We have an opportunity with the Horizon Organic brand to take it into a bunch of other interesting alternatives beyond dairy," Engles said.

With the completion of the spinoff, Dean Foods continues to own an approximate 19.9% economic interest in WhiteWave. 

"The successful completion of the spinoff of WhiteWave continues to unlock significant shareholder value and represents the final stage of our business separation strategy," said Gregg Tanner, CEO and director of Dean Foods. "We are well positioned to extend our advantages in the dairy industry, and the retention of a minority ownership interest in WhiteWave gives us the ability to monetize our shares in the future to further increase our financial strength." 

Dean Foods is a leading food and beverage company in the United States and is the nation's largest processor and direct-to-store distributor of fluid milk. The Dallas-based company's portfolio includes TruMoo, a leading national flavored milk brand, along with regional dairy brands such as Alta Dena, Berkeley Farms, Country Fresh, Dean's, Garelick Farms, Land O Lakes fluid milk, Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms, Mayfield, McArthur, Meadow Gold, Oak Farms, Pet, T.G. Lee, Tuscan, Viva and more. It has more than 50 local and regional dairy brands and private labels. Dean Foods also makes and distributes ice cream, cultured products, juices, teas, and bottled water.

Bloomfield, Colo.-based WhiteWave is a leading consumer packaged food and beverage company that manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells branded plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and beverages and dairy products throughout North America and Europe.. Its brands distributed in North America include Silk plant-based foods and beverages, InternationalDelight and Land O Lakes coffee creamers and beverages and Horizon Organic dairy products.