Chobani Australia has opened its new $30 million yoghurt plant in Victoria.
The new factory located in Dandenong South was officially opened on 5 December by Chobani CEO and founder Hamdi Ulukaya and minister for agriculture and food security Peter Walsh.
Chobani acquired dairy company Bead Foods in 2011 and have extended the existing facilities, adding over 3000sqm of wet processing and cool rooms to the site.
The investment is expected to triple production capacity to over 30,000 tonnes of yogurt per annum.
To put this into context, according to Dairy Australia’s figures over the last five years average total production of natural and fruit yogurt in Australia is between 90,000 to 100,000 tonnes per annum.
Chobani CEO Ulukaya said Australia was the right place for the company’s first international production site because high quality inputs are readily available.
“We chose Australia as our first international market to launch Chobani because of its amazingly high quality milk, and we knew that Australians are passionate about great-tasting food. The completion of this facility is the realisation of a dream that I have had for some time now, and I am truly humbled by the warm welcome Australia has given Chobani,” he said.
The new plant has already created 50 new manufacturing and management jobs last year and the company expects to add another 150 new positions over the next three years as the factory reaches capacity.
Chobani expects the Dandenong South plant to act as an export hub, driving the growth of Greek yogurt and Gippsland Dairy brands into Asia.
Minister for agriculture and food security Peter Walsh said the new plant is good news for Victorian dairy farmers.
“This expansion is good news for Victorian dairy farmers who supply Chobani Australia, and it is a strong vote of confidence in Victoria's valuable dairy sector,” Walsh said.
The yogurt market has experience considerable growth over the past two decades.
Dairy Australia attributes the steady market growth to the product’s “ability to meet consumer requirements for convenient, healthy snacks in an environment of time-poor lifestyles” and regular flavour and packaging innovation.