Retailers

Harris Teeter to Sell Its Hunter Farms Dairy Business

Ice cream, beverage brands to continue to appear on the grocer’s shelves
Harris Teeter
Photograph: Shutterstock

Harris Teeter, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co., announced Aug. 17 that it is selling its Hunter Farms dairy processing plant to Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association Inc. The sale is expected to close Aug. 30.

The High Point, N.C., plant, which employs nearly 160 full-time associates, produces milk, a variety of frozen dairy treats, juices, culture products and ice creams. Danna Robinson, communication manager for Harris Teeter, said in a release, “Hunter Farms’ successful and recognizable ice cream and beverage brands will continue to be featured on Harris Teeter’s shelves, and our valued associates will be retained and offered comparable positions with the new owner.”

“Hunter Farms is a unique part of the Harris Teeter business as it is not only Harris Teeter’s sole dairy resource and a very recognizable and beloved brand in our stores, but it also supplies dairy products to other major retail and restaurant chains across the Southeastern United States,” she added.

Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative consists of more than 900 dairy farm families in 13 states that bottle fresh Maola brand milk and dairy products. Founded in 1920, the cooperative’s farmers produce 3 billion pounds of milk a year for consumers and manufacturers worldwide. The cooperative also owns processing facilities in Newport News and Strasburg, Va.; and Laurel and Landover, Md.

“The purchase of the Hunter Farms dairy processing plant is a long-term investment and growth opportunity for our cooperative in the High Point community,” said Jay Bryant, CEO of Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative. “We are excited to strengthen our value-added business and expand our cooperative’s processing footprint in the southeast. With our five processing plants working in cooperation, we are establishing ourselves as the premier sustainable choice for dairy on the East Coast.”

Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter has approximately 35,000 employees and operates stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia.

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