Canada's Major Dairy Brand Eyes Plant-Based Industry

Dairy processor Saputo's CEO is actively looking for plant-based partners to expand into the lucrative dairy-free industry.

During a recent interview with local media outlet BNN, Lino Saputo, Jr.—CEO of Canada’s largest dairy processor—revealed that he is becoming increasingly aware of the opportunities presented by diversifying the company’s portfolio to include plant-based brands. “If there would be a great opportunity for us to make an acquisition in that space,” Saputo said, "that could be something that could interest us quite a bit.” Currently, demand for dairy in North America is diminishing, while the plant-based milk industry continues to grow and is currently valued at $1.5 billion in Canada alone. “We’re very mindful of it,” Saputo said, after revealing that the dairy company is readying to make two deals in the plant-based space by the end of its fiscal year. International dairy companies are taking notice of the growth opportunity in the plant-based industry—as evidenced by France-based dairy giant Danone’s recent $12.5 billion acquisition of WhiteWave Foods, the parent company of dairy-free brands Silk, So Delicious, and Vega.

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