Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that PepsiCo, the world's second largest snack and beverage company, and Theo Mller Gmbh, Germany's largest privately owned dairy business, have chosen New York as the site for their first yogurt producing facility in the United States. Through the joint venture Wave LLC, the companies will invest $206 million and create 186 new manufacturing and support jobs to operate its state-of-the-art facility at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, in Batavia.
"This project demonstrates that leading international companies like PepsiCo and Mller see New York as a premier place to invest and the natural choice for their first venture into the yogurt business. With over $200 million in private investment and nearly 200 new jobs, this opportunity is another strong boost to the region's growing dairy industry," Governor Cuomo said.
New York State, through Empire State Development, will provide the company with $3.3 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits, as well as $1 million from NYS Homes & Community Renewal and a $10 million NYS Investment Tax Credit. Genesee County will also provide an estimated $12 million in sales and property tax savings.
Wave considered other locations both in and outside of New York State for the facility. After a thorough evaluation, including an assessment of access to dairy resources, water supply and distribution routes to key markets, the company chose the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia, New York. While the facility is being developed over two years, Wave may import Mller products in order to establish a foothold in the fast-growing U.S. yogurt business.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, "New York is working hard to be a global leader in the kind of high-growth manufacturing that has critical economic development and job creating potential. Wave is a strong example of our work and the leadership of Governor Cuomo paying off in the form of new jobs and significant private investment from a leading overseas company that will have a resounding impact on the local economy."
PepsiCo's investment continues a strong recent trend of major yogurt producers opening manufacturing facilities in New York. The state currently has 29 yogurt plants, which employ more than 2,000 people and produced a total of 530 million pounds of yogurt in 2011a 43% increase from 2010 and more than double 2008 levels. In 2011, Governor Cuomo announced major investments by two of the nation's largest yogurt producers- Chobani and FAGE, Inc., increasing the companies' production capacity and creating hundreds of new jobs in New York.
New York State is the nation's leader in the production of the wildly popular Greek-style yogurt. Producing Greek yogurt requires approximately three times the amount of milk than traditional yogurt, making the industry a major economic driver for dairy farmers across New York State. In 2011, more than 1.166 billion pounds of milk was used for yogurt production. This is comparable to the milk production of 500 average-size dairy farms in New York State (115 cows/farm).
Western New York in particular has benefited from the yogurt boom. The 15-county area of Western New York accounts for approximately 40% of the state's total milk production, with Wyoming County serving as the leading milk producing county in the State. By locating in Batavia, PepsiCo joins a number of other major yogurt manufacturers taking advantage of the region's existing infrastructure available for dairy processing including the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine said, "Location, location, location. That mantra holds true for yogurt production in New York State as we are ideally situated in an area of the country that is not only great for producing high quality milk, but is also close to numerous metropolitan markets with consumers hungry for this dairy dense product. This growing sector of the dairy industry heavily supports our hard-working family farms, creates thousands of jobs in our rural communities, and puts a healthy and locally made product on store shelves that all New Yorkers can be proud of."
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns said, "Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State is thriving as the go-to state for international business ventures, growing the economy with million and billion dollar investments. We are proud to partner with ESD and Genesee County for this important job-creation project, which will help stimulate and grow the economy and community of Western NY. HCR's award of $1 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding will help ensure that these new jobs go to the low- and moderate-income New Yorkers most in need of work in these difficult economic times. The benefits of this project strongly reinforce Governor Cuomo's message that New York State is 'Open for Business.'"
Senator Michael Razenhofer said, "Creating new jobs by attracting private businesses investment is exactly what we need to get our economy back on track and our state moving in the right direction. With New York rapidly becoming a national leader in yogurt production, this project gives our State another vital source of economic opportunity that will further boost our growing agricultural industry. I commend Governor Cuomo for working with the Senate to improve New York's business climate which paved the way for the extraordinary investment we see here today."
Assemblyman Stephen Hawley said, "The agricultural industry is the backbone of our community and one of our state's greatest economic assets. Creating nearly 200 new jobs and attracting a substantial investment to continue to grow our booming agri-business industry is great news for Western New Yorkers. I congratulate Governor Cuomo for his leadership, and I welcome our newest business partners, PepsiCo and Mller to our community."
Assemblyman Dan Burling said, "This project is a great example of the type of economic development and new direct investment that we need to create jobs and make our economy stronger. I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and our neighbors, PepsiCo and Mller, to grow the local economy and put our residents back to work."
In its global portfolio of food and beverage brands, PepsiCo has 22 different brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Our main businesses also make hundreds of other enjoyable foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of over $65 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.
Theo Mller is Germany's largest privately-owned dairy business employing 4,700 throughout Europe and Israel with sales of about 2.2 billion Euros. Theo Mller Gmbh produces a line of six different premium yogurts, including the leading yogurt brand in the U.K. "Mller Corner."
Wave LLC is a new joint venture between PepsiCo and Mller.