Meijer Acquires Dairy, Grows Private Brand Production

This past week Grand Rapids, Michigan-based superstore Meijer is acquiring a portion of Bareman’s Dairy and launching the new Purple Cow Creamery. The retailer plans to invest $8 million to expand the dairy in Holland to supply Private Brand milk for 101 stores across Michigan.

“This is an exciting day for our company,” said CEO Hank Meijer. “As Meijer continues to grow, it’s crucial we invest in the operations that will help us keep our promise of higher standards and lower prices to our customers. Expanding into dairy operations will do just that.”

The new Purple Cow Creamery, named after the ice cream shops inside many Meijer stores and the famous Purple Cow cards that were frequently handed out by the late Fred Meijer, will produce white and chocolate milk in gallon and half-gallon sizes the Michigan stores.

“The creation of the Purple Cow Creamery is an important step forward as we continue to expand our manufacturing operations,” said Rick Keyes, Meijer’s executive vice president of supply chain and manufacturing. “Producing our own Meijer brand milk allows us to continue to focus on keeping prices low for our customers, while also reducing the number of food miles for a very important product.



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.