Canada’s Ultima Foods is investing CAN$14.4 million to install a new drinkable yogurt production line and optimize operations at its Granby plant.
Canada’s Ultima Foods is investing CAN$14.4 million to install a new drinkable yogurt production line and optimize operations at its Granby plant. The yogurt maker is providing $10.8 million, while Investissement Québec is contributing a $3.6-million interest-free loan. The investment will create 35 to 40 jobs.“In the highly competitive yogurt market, innovation drives our growth,” said Martin Parent, president of Ultima Foods. “Not only do we have to serve consumers, who are always on the lookout for new products, but our facilities must also be extremely efficient to build our relations with our clients.” Ultima Foods produces 30% of the yogurt consumed in Canada. Since the 2012 iögo brand launch, the company says it has not stopped innovating, adding new formats, such as pouches, and trendy products like smoothies to its yogurt product line. The success of these products is, says Ultima, the main reason behind the investment because the company had reached the limit of its drinkable yogurt production capacity. The company says the new production line will boost growth at Ultima Foods, while enabling it to meet the strong demand for drinkable products. Thanks to new equipment and procedural fine-tuning made possible by the $14.4-million investment, weekly production at the Granby factory will go from 2.7 million units to 4.8 million. Optimisation of its operating costs will, says the company, allow it to reinvest even more in the development of new yogurt products. In 2016, Ultima Foods invested $12-million in innovation, behind R&D and marketing. “Apart from the considerable sums spent on innovation, the strength of Ultima Foods is in its ability to turn new ideas into commercial products that satisfy consumers and meet their needs,” said Guy Belletête, co-founder of Institut de développement des produits, which supports innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit in Québec businesses and organizations as development vectors. “We are not talking about innovation as a distinct activity conducted in a silo, but truly as a guiding principle within the company.”