Dairy Crest Group plc is a major dairy products company in the United Kingdom. Its brands include Cathedral City Cheddar cheese, Utterly Butterly, Vitalite, Clover, St Ivel and FRijj. The Company delivers milk to around 1.1 million households via their milkmen. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
In 1991 the Company established a joint venture with French dairy company Yoplait called Yoplait Dairy Crest (often abbreviated to YDC) which is 51% owned by Yoplait and 49% by Dairy Crest and which distributes Yoplait brand products in the UK. In 1995 it bought the Cathedral City brand of Cheese from Mendip Foods Ltd.
The business was privatised in August 1996 and Dairy Crest was listed on the London Stock Exchange. In July 2000 it acquired the dairy and cheese products division of Unigate in London and in November 2002 it acquired the St Ivel spreads company which had been based in Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire. In September 2004 it went on to acquire the Country Life butter brand from English Butter Marketing Company. In July 2006 it acquired Express Dairies from Arla Foods for £33m. In October 2006, it sold the majority of its own label cheese business to First Milk, its Scottish equivalent, along with the creameries and factory that produce most of the products concerned.
In January 2007 Dairy Crest bought St Hubert for £248 million securing the Cholegram, Le Fleurier and Omega 3 brands, which are among the top selling spreads in France, and the Vallé brand which is the market leader in Italy.
Dairy Crest is the largest UK 'middle ground' distributor of milk and dairy products, servicing wholesalers, foodservice and Bottle Milk Buyers (known within the industry as BMBs).
Dairy Crest is also the largest doorstep milk operator (i.e. the traditional UK milkman) in the UK. Despite the 'doorstep' industry suffering a gradual decline since the early 1980s, this is still a profitable part of the industry.
In 2007, Dairy Crest launched "milk&more", an online ordering service for its doorstep customers.
Other cheese brands include Davidstow, the Hartington brand of Blue Stilton and Wexford.
Originally a Kraft then St Ivel brand, Vitalite is a sunflower spread which is known for its Smiling Sun which was part of a famous advertising campaign, with a song rhyming Vitalite. Empty Vitalite tubs are also popular for being used as bowls for feeding pets.
Utterly Butterly is a brand that is made from buttermilk, there is also a Scandinavian variant. It is a sponsor of a wing walking team.
Willow is a churned buttermilk-based spread, which is sold as 250 g blocks. Other brands include Golden Churn, Country Life (formerly owned by English Butter) and Clover.
Milk powders etc.
Designed for growth: Dairy Crest's centralized UK distribution center continues to set the standard for chilled dairy.(Plant Operatons)
Oct 01, 2006; Anyone in the UK knows the name Dairy Crest. Its brands are family favorites, found in millions of fridges throughout the...