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Dairy Crest

Dairy Crest Group plc
Traded as LSE: DCG
Industry Dairy Products
Founded 1981
Headquarters Esher, Surrey, UK
Key people
Stephen Alexander (Chairman)
Mark Allen (CEO)
Revenue £1,391.0 million (2014)[1]
£74.5 million (2014)[1]
£50.2 million (2014)[1]
Number of employees
4,500 (2015)[2]
Subsidiaries Express Dairies

Dairy Crest Group plc is a leading British dairy products company. Its brands include Cathedral City Cheddar cheese, Country Life butter and milk, Utterly Butterly, Vitalite, Clover and Frijj. The company delivers milk to around 715,000 households via their milk&more doorstep delivery business. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


  • History 1
  • Operations 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Dairy Crest was established in 1981 as the processing arm of the Milk Marketing Board.[3] In 1983 the company launched Clover, its dairy spread.[3]

A Dairy Crest Smith's Elizabethan milk float

In 1991, the company established a joint venture with French dairy company Yoplait called Yoplait Dairy Crest (often abbreviated to YDC) which is 51% owned by Yoplait and 49% by Dairy Crest and which distributes Yoplait brand products in the UK.[3] In 1995 it bought the Cathedral City brand of cheese from Mendip Foods Ltd.[3]

The business was privatised in August 1996 and Dairy Crest was listed on the London Stock Exchange.[3] In July 2000 it acquired the dairy and cheese products division of Unigate in London[3] and in November 2002 it acquired the St Ivel spreads company which had been based in Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire.[3] In September 2004 it went on to acquire the Country Life butter brand from the English Butter Marketing Company.[3] In July 2006 it acquired Express Dairies from Arla Foods for £33m.[4] In October 2006, it sold the majority of its own label cheese business to First Milk, its Scottish equivalent, along with the creameries and factory that produce most of the products concerned.[5]

In January 2007, Dairy Crest bought St Hubert for £248 million securing the Cholegram, Le Fleurier and Omega 3 brands, which are among the top selling spreads in France, and the Vallé brand which is the market leader in Italy.[6] In July 2013 Dairy Crest sold its doorstep delivery operations in the Northwest of England to Creamline Dairies who will operate the milk rounds from the Warrington, Flixton, Stockport and Macclesfield depots and whose subsidiary Mortons will operate all those in the Wirral, Chester and Liverpool.[7]

On 6 November 2014, Dairy Crest announced a big slump in profits and the sale of its milk business, which processes and distributes milk, to Germany's Müller for £80 million. It came as profits at the UK's largest dairy food company fell 95% to £900,000 in the six months to September.[8] Dairy Crest's milk business will be combined with Müller's UK subsidiary Müller Wiseman Dairies.[9] The sale was approved by the Competition and Markets Authority on 19 October 2015, and is due to be completed on 26 December 2015.[10]


Dairy Crest's Chadwell Heath milk production site

The company supplies milk, cheese, spreads and drinks. It also has an online ordering service for its doorstep customers known as milk&more.

Cheese brands include Cathedral City, Davidstow Cheddar and Wexford.[11] Spread brands include Clover, Country Life (named for the magazine), St. Hubert, Utterly Butterly, Vitalite and Willow.[11] Drink brands include Country Life Milk and Frijj (a milkshake brand).[11]

Milk production sites include Chadwell Heath and Stonehouse and spread production sites included Crudgington and Kirkby.[12] Crudgington Creamery was closed in 2014 when production of spreads was concentrated at Kirkby, while its research and development facility was transferred to an innovation centre built by the company at Harper Adams University.[13]


  1. ^ a b c "Dairy Crest Annual Report 2014". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Who We Are". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Dairly Crest History
  4. ^ Mark Tran. "Dairy Crest buys rival to expand milk round". the Guardian. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "BBC NEWS - Business - Dairy Crest sells cheese business". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Dairy Crest buys St Hubert from Uniq". This is Money. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Creamline FAQs - General FAQs - Help and Support". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Dairy Crest sells milk operations as profits slump". BBC News. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Dairy Crest agrees to sell its Dairies operations to Müller UK & Ireland Group". Dairy Crest. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Ratcliffe, Madeline (19 October 2015). "Dairy Crest share price rises as CMA approves Muller takeover". City AM. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c Dairy Crest: Brands
  12. ^ Dairy Crest: Locations
  13. ^ "Shropshire Star". 12 June 2015. p. 6. Report by Emma Walker. The headline refers to demolition of the premises due to begin 2015.

External links

  • Official website
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