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Hochland Expands US Cheese Business

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Hochland Expands US Cheese Business

Hochland Expands US Cheese Business
January 18
10:39 2017

German cheese manufacturer Hochland has acquired Franklin Foods, a US cream cheese producer, to further develop its European brands in the US market. Confidential terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Similar to Hochland, Franklin Foods is a cheese producer with a long history. The firm was established in 1899 in Vermont originally under the name of Hahn’s Cheese Company. Today, the headquarters is in Florida. With revenues of about US$140 million in 2016, Franklin Foods is the third largest cream cheese producer in the USA. It operates two production sites in Vermont and Arizona with 200 employees. Franklin Foods sells its own brands and private label products to food service companies as well as food retailers. The company has grown rapidly in the past few years.

Peter Stahl, chief executive of Hochland.

After the establishment of its US sales organization Bergland Cheese USA in 2014, this acquisition is a further strategic step by Hochland into this key market. “The strong market position, nationwide distribution and two modern production plants of Franklin Foods offer Hochland the ideal platform for a successful implementation of our own brands and products in the USA,” says Peter Stahl, chief executive of Hochland.

The United States is the world’s biggest cheese market. Cream cheese is especially popular and this category exceeded the overall growth of the US cheese market in 2016. Hochland’s goal is to further enhance its European brands as well as Franklin Foods products in the USA.

Hochland brands Almette (cream cheese), Hochland (processed cheese, hard and semi-hard cheese), Grünländer (hard and semi-hard cheese), Patros (Greek style feta/white cheese), Gervais (curd cheese) and Valbrie (soft ripened cheese) are very popular in Germany and other European countries. Hochland operates cheese production sites in six European countries with approximately 4,200 employees. The company is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. In 2016, it generated revenues of €1.2 billion with a sales volume that exceeded 300,000 tons for the first time in the company’s history. This makes Hochland one of the leading privately owned cheese producers in Europe.

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