Dean Foods combining brands under national label



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NEW YORK (AP) — Dean Foods will place all of its regional milk labels under one brand as part of a move to boost its business and tout the quality of its product.

The Dallas-based company will start using the label "DairyPure" for its 31 brands of milk. The new label will be in addition to regional labels. Part of the new marketing strategy will highlight that the milk is tested for antibiotics, has no artificial growth hormones and comes from local dairies.

Dean Foods has built up its business partly by acquiring local brands. Among its stable of brands are Tuscan, Garelick Farms, and PET Dairy. It spun off its WhiteWave brand, which makes Silk almond milk and other products, in 2013. Dean also sold its Morningstar Foods division, which makes coffee creamers, sour cream, and other products, in 2013.

The milk producer reported a $20.3 million loss in 2014 as it then dealt with high raw milk prices. Milk prices have declined recently on higher production rose and lower exports. Still, Dean Foods and its peers are still contending with a general decline in milk consumption across the nation.

The company has also been closing plants over the last several years. It closed 12 production facilities in 2014. It currently operates 68 facilities in 32 states. As of December 31, it had 17,246 employees.

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The Associated Press

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