Iogo maker to ramp up drinkable yogurt production

(CNW Group/Ultima Foods)

The yogurt-making joint venture of dairy co-ops Agropur and Agrifoods International plans to boost its drinkable yogurt output by adding another production line in Quebec’s Monteregie.

Ultima Foods announced last week it will put up $10.8 million of its own funds plus a $3.6 million interest-free loan from Investissement Quebec, the investment arm of the provincial government, toward an expansion of its plant at Granby.

The “new equipment and procedural fine-tuning” at the Granby plant will boost its weekly production from 2.7 million units to 4.8 million, the company said June 6.

“Not only do we have to serve consumers, who are always on the lookout for new products, but our facilities must also be extremely efficient to build our relations with our clients,” Ultima president Martin Parent said in a release.

Ultima, which said it today produces about 30 per cent of the yogurt consumed in Canada, had “reached the limit of its drinkable yogurt production capacity.”

Optimization of operating costs will allow Ultima to “reinvest even more in the development of new yogurt products,” the company added.

Ultima, which markets its wares under the Olympic and Iogo brands, said the latest investment is expected to create 35 to 40 jobs at the facility.

Ultima’s expansion announcement came just two days before it announced a recall of certain sizes and formats of its Iogo smoothies, protein drinks and Nano drinkable yogurt, due to the “possibility of the presence of plastic fragments.”

The company said June 8 it took the action voluntarily “in an overabundance of caution,” noting no fragments have been found in any finished product and no consumer complaints have been reported.

The recall, which on June 8 included products distributed in Western Canada, Ontario and Quebec, expanded the next day to cover the products nationwide. — Network

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