Dean Foods Company and Land O’ Lakes have expanded their strategic alliance and licensing agreement.

The move allows Dean Foods to use the Land O’Lakes brand name nationally on a variety of value-added fluid milk products, cultured dairy products and on basic fluid dairy products. In August, Moringstar Foods, a subsidiary of Dean Foods, will launch Land O’Lakes Dairy Ease — a lactose-free milk product. This will be the first new product to be released from the expanded relationship.

The new agreement is a step beyond their two year-old joint venture Dairy Marketing Alliance. The new agreement grants “perpetual, royalty-bearing national licensing rights of the Land O’Lakes brand directly to Dean Foods. It also includes additional value-added products such as fortified milks, aseptic products, infant formulas and soy beverages. The Dairy Marketing Alliance will expire when the new licensing agreement takes effect on July 31, 2002.

"We are extremely enthusiastic about the potential of this expanded relationship," said Gregg Engles, Dean Foods chairman and chief executive officer in a press release. "Our Morningstar Foods division, with its fully-integrated marketing resources, offers an ideal platform for launching Land O’Lakes Dairy Ease. We look forward to further leveraging the Land O Lakes brand to build both new and innovative products."

"The most obvious benefit for Land O'Lakes is that Dean Foods' national, brand-based product development and marketing expertise will be focused on the Land O’Lakes brand," said Jack Gherty, Land O'Lakes president and chief executive officer in a press release. "Consumers love and trust the Land O Lakes brand, a symbol of freshness, quality and 'simple goodness.' Dean Foods will extend the reach and scope of our brand name, which will translate into increased awareness, exposure, strength and vitality for our products."

"By strengthening our strategic alliance with Land O'Lakes, we are another step closer to our stated goal of building a more branded food and beverage company," continued Engles. "Because we now have greater rights to use the Land O’Lakes brand, as well as increased marketing and distribution responsibilities for the products, we will be better positioned to invest against and continue the growth of the Land O’Lakes brand. We will also benefit from Land O'Lakes' own continued promotion of the brand on its core products."

PR Newswire