In less than 20 years from its arrival in the UK in 1987, Müller, the German range of yoghurt pots and desserts, rose to become one of the country's leading food brands, outselling virtually every other edible product in supermarkets except megabrands like Kellogg, Cadbury and Heinz. It was an astonishing achievement, matched by the brand's dominance in its domestic market. More recently, though, Müller has faced increasing competition from more traditionally healthy functional products such as Danone's Activia and Actimel. It remains one of the UK's ten best-selling food and beverage brands with combined sales estimated at £551m by Nielsen in 2017, and 20% of the local yoghurt market. Müller Light and Müller Corner are the country's top-selling yoghurt products and the group also holds the local license to produce potted desserts under the Cadbury brand. In 2012, Müller expanded its footprint in the UK through the acquisition for £280m of Robert Wiseman Dairies, one of the country's biggest suppliers of fresh milk. In 2015, after a protracted regulatory review, it completed the acquisition of the dairies business of rival Dairy Crest, including its Frijj flavoured milk brand. As a result, the rebranded Müller Milk & Ingredients division is now the UK's biggest milk processor, handling around a quarter of local supply. Müller Milk is now the #2 branded milk in the UK after Arla's Cravendale and the group also supplies milk to supermarkets for own-label and direct to consumers under the Milk & More delivery service. A move into butter production, however, was less successful. Despite commissioning a huge new plant, a block butter launched in 2015 didn't take off. A new attempt to crack that market came with Müller Spreadable, launched in 2018. The group is an official sponsor of British Atletics and Athletics Ireland. A wholly owned subsidiary of Luxemburg-based Theo Müller Group, Müller UK & Ireland reported revenues of £2.1bn in 2017. Patrick Müller, one of several sons of the group's controlling shareholder Theo Müller, is CEO of Müller Milk & Ingredients. Bergen Merey is managing director, Müller Yoghurt & Desserts.
Capsule checked 28th November 2018
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