Farmer-owned MMPA to acquire innovative dairy processor Superior Dairy

NOVI, Mich.—The Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA), based in Novi, Michigan, today announced it will acquire Superior Dairy in Canton, Ohio, a subsidiary of LEL Operating Company.

Under the terms of the acquisition, all of LEL Operating Company’s subsidiaries, Superior Dairy, Inc., Creative Edge Design Group, Ltd., and LEL Logistics, Inc., will become wholly owned subsidiaries of MMPA effective December 31, 2021. Ultimately, the new organization will launch a multi-state dairy manufacturing and innovation campus with four facilities in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, employ a team of over 625 individuals, and service dairy farmers across the Great Lakes region.

Building on the strong partnership developed between the two organizations over the years, the acquisition will bring greater innovation, product diversity and efficiencies to the marketplace. With Superior Dairy under its umbrella, MMPA will be able to provide a greater focus on go-to market strategies more quickly than operating individually to meet the needs of customers and consumers while continuing to support farmers, employees and other stakeholders.

MMPA President & CEO Joe Diglio (left) with LEL Operating Company / Superior Dairy President & CEO Greg Soehnlen (right).

“MMPA’s relationship with Superior Dairy has accelerated over the last six years and we have mutually benefitted from our partnership. Bringing Superior Dairy into the MMPA family will enable us to better tap into their wealth of product development experience to bring value added processing capacity for our dairy farmer members,” said Joe Diglio, president and CEO of MMPA.

“Our partnership with MMPA and their members’ exceptional quality milk has been an integral part of our growth. By taking advantage of our combined manufacturing assets, we will continue our trajectory and the opportunities that this collaboration enables,” said Greg Soehnlen, President and CEO of Superior Dairy, Inc. and LEL Operating Company.

“The acquisition of Superior Dairy demonstrates how MMPA dairy farmer member-owners are committed to investing in innovation and technology for their future. This move ensures there is a reliable outlet for our farmers’ milk while securing their future within the dairy community,” said Doug Chapin, board chairman of MMPA and dairy farmer.

Both organizations have had long and proud histories of supplying quality milk and milk products to consumers and are strategically aligned on their vision for the future. MMPA is a 106-year-old dairy cooperative, while Superior Dairy was founded in 1922 and will soon celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. To generate long-term success of both organizations, the agreement provides for the repurposing and reutilization of each organization’s resources and current manufacturing facilities to better serve MMPA and Superior Dairy’s needs more collaboratively.

The Superior Dairy facility is located in Canton, Ohio. Superior Dairy, along with Creative Edge Design Group, Ltd., and LEL Logistics, Inc. will become wholly owned subsidiaries of MMPA effective December 31, 2021.

About the Michigan Milk Producers Association

MMPA is a dairy farmer owned cooperative founded in 1916. MMPA serves dairy farmers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, handling approximately 5 billion pounds of milk annually. MMPA operates two SQF Level 3 certified manufacturing plants in Michigan and a cheese plant in Indiana. Products made at MMPA’s plants include cheese, ultra-filtered milk, butter, milk powder, cream and condensed skim milk.

About LEL Operating Company / Superior Dairy

LEL Operating Company is the parent holding company of the following three subsidiaries: Superior Dairy, Inc., Creative Edge Design Group, Ltd.  and LEL Logistics, Inc. Founded in 1922, Superior Dairy is best known for providing high quality fluid milk products, cottage cheese, sour cream, ice cream and chip dip. Since Superior Dairy private labels for many of our customers, millions of consumers enjoy our consistent and flavorful products, without necessarily knowing the Superior name. Creative Edge Design Group is the strategic think tank, research and development arm of LEL Operating Company.

Superior Dairy, which will be acquired by MMPA, is best known for producing high quality products, including fluid milk, at the Canton, Ohio facility.