|Founder||Samuel E. Dean Sr.|
|Fate||Acquired by Dairy Farmers of America|
|Headquarters||Dallas, Texas, U.S.|
|Gary W. Rahlfs (CEO)|
|Products||Milk, dairy products, juice|
|Revenue||US$7.329 billion (2019)|
|US$−399.7 million (2019)|
|US$−499.9 million (2019)|
|Total assets||US$2.229 billion (2019)|
|Total equity||US$−181.1 million (2019)|
Number of employees
Dean Foods was an American food and beverage company and the largest dairy company in the United States. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company maintained plants and distributors in the United States. Dean Foods had 66 manufacturing facilities in 32 U.S. states and distributed its products across all 50. Its 24 brands include DairyPure, TruMoo, Friendly's, Mayfield, Dean's, Meadow Gold, Tuscan, T.G.Lee and Alta Dena. In November 2019, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy citing the decline in consumption of cow's milk.
Dean Foods was founded by Samuel E. Dean Sr., who owned an evaporated milk processing facility in Franklin Park, Illinois, in the 1920s. After purchasing other Illinois dairy plants Dean developed the enterprise "from a small regional dairy into a diversified food company".
In December 2001, the legacy brand of Dean Foods was acquired by the Dallas-based Suiza Foods Corporation, who later adopted the Dean Foods name. As part of the merger, 11 plants were divested under the name National Dairy to a group led by Dairy Farmers of America. In 2005, Dean Specialty Foods was spun off from Dean Foods as Bay Valley Foods, LLC, a division of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. In June 2005, TreeHouse Foods started trading on the New York Stock Exchange with a ticker of THS.
In March 2005, the Cornucopia Institute filed a complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleging that their Horizon Organic subsidiary was violating "organic livestock management" standards.
In August 2006, Dean Foods acquired Jilbert's Dairy, a 70-year-old family business near Marquette, Michigan. Dean Food's TofuTown brand was acquired by the Hain Celestial Group in June 2007. In December, Dean Foods bought the Wells Dairy milk plant in Le Mars, Iowa. They are the maker of Blue Bunny ice cream.  Dean Foods purchased Alpro in 2009 for an estimated US$455 million, making it a "global leader in soy beverages". This resulted in a restructuring of the company that included selling off a number of subsidiaries, including Rachel's Organic.
On May 12, 2008, the Cornucopia Institute filed a second complaint with the USDA again alleging that Deans Foods had violated federal organic regulations requiring access to pasture and fresh grass for their dairy cows.
Silk brand soy milk was made using organic soybeans until early 2009, when Dean Foods switched to conventional soybeans while maintaining the same UPC barcodes and prices on the Silk products and replacing the word “organic” with “natural” on the product's packaging, prompting the Cornucopia Institute to file complaints that the company had not properly notified retailers or consumers.
Foremost Farms USA, a cooperative of over 2,000 dairy farmers in several mid-western states, sold its Wisconsin milk processing plants to Dean Foods in 2009. In January 2010, the US Department of Justice and the state attorneys general's office of Wisconsin and Michigan, filed a lawsuit objecting to the purchase and alleged that it created a monopolizing provider. Dean Foods announced it was contesting the complaint.
In the first quarter of 2010 the company moved to the Cityplace district of Dallas, Texas. In October 2010, Dean Foods announced it was retiring the Schepps brand for dairy products in the Dallas, Texas area in favor of their Oak Farms brand. The Schepps brand had been in the Dallas market since 1942.
In 2011, a class action suit was brought against Deans Foods over health claims made on the packaging of Horizon Organic Milk. In 2012, Dean Foods contributed $253,950 to fund opposition to California's ballot Proposition 37 which would require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.
Dean Foods spun off WhiteWave Foods, the maker of Horizon Organic and Silk Soymilk, as a standalone company in May 2013.
In May 2015 Dean Foods announced that they would introduce a national milk brand, DairyPure, which would appear alongside regional brands, in an attempt to boost sales.
In 2017, bettor and stock trader Billy Walters was convicted of insider trading in Dean shares in Federal court. Walters' source of non-public information was company director Thomas C. Davis employing a prepaid cell phone nicknamed "the Batphone" and, sometimes, the code words "Dallas Cowboys" for the company name. The case involved profits or avoided losses of $40 million from 2008 to 2014. The verdict was to be appealed according to Walters' lawyer.
Southern Foods Group, LLC d/b/a Dean Foods, and forty-two (42) affiliated companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on November 12, 2019. The company cited their debt and pension obligations as the reason for their bankruptcy filing; they also suggested that they were working with potential buyers for the company's assets. A cited reason for the bankruptcy was changing demand for milk and milk-related products., a potential sale to the cooperative Dairy Farmers of America was mentioned.
- Killer Shake – a subsidiary of Killer Productions Company (now defunct) is a former brand of chocolate milk with a dessert-like style. Dean Foods manufactured and sold this product under a license arrangement for the period January 1, 1996, through September 30, 1996.
- Uncle Matt's Organic
- Alta Dena, Southern California, Arizona
- Brown's Dairy, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida
- Country Fresh, Michigan and Wisconsin
- Creamland, New Mexico
- Dean's, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania
- Friendly's, an ice cream brand served at Friendly's restaurants and sold in stores
- Gandy's, West Texas
- Garelick Farms, New England
- Hygeia Dairy, South Texas
- Jilbert Dairy, Michigan's Upper Peninsula
- Lehigh Valley, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
- Meadow Gold Dairy, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Southern Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming
- Oak Farms Dairy, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma
- PET Dairy, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia
- Price's Creameries, El Paso, Texas and Southern New Mexico
- Purity Dairies, Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama
- ReadyLeaf Tea
- Reiter Dairy, Ohio
- Swiss Premium, Pennsylvania
- T. G. Lee Dairy, Florida
- Tuscan Dairy Farms, New York and New Jersey
- Barber's, Alabama, parts of Mississippi, Georgia and Florida
- Berkeley Farms, Northern California and Northern Nevada: 1910–2020
- Broughton Foods Company, Southeast Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, Western Virginia and West Virginia. Broughton Foods Company, or Broughton's Dairy or simply Broughton's, was a regional dairy and food company based out of Marietta, Ohio, that served the states of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. The company also operated a sub-plant in Charleston, West Virginia. Broughton Foods Company was formerly owned by Suiza Foods Company.
- Land O'Lakes milk (licensed brand), Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin
- Liberty Dairy, Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Louis Trauth Dairy, Kentucky and Ohio
- McArthur Dairy, South Florida
- Meadow Brook, Pennsylvania and New York
- Meadow Gold Dairy, Hawaii and Nebraska
- Melody Farms, Detroit, which itself had previously acquired R.W. Wilson & Sons, Detroit, Michigan
- Model Dairy, Northern Nevada
- H. Myer Dairy Company, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Swiss Dairy, California
- FTC v. Dean Foods Co., 1966 decision of the US Supreme Court
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- "Form 10-K" (PDF). 2016. p. 4. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
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'Despite our best efforts to make our business more agile and cost-efficient, we continue to be impacted by a challenging operating environment marked by continuing declines in consumer milk consumption,' said Eric Beringause, who recently joined Dean Foods as president and chief executive officer.
- Jordan Valinsky. "America's largest milk producer files for bankruptcy". CNN. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
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- "History". TreeHouse Foods. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "The Cornucopia Institute has filed two formal complaints asking the USDA to investigate alleged violations of the federal organic raw by factory farms operating in Idaho and California with ties to Dean Foods-owned Horizon Organic (press release)". Dairy Field. March 1, 2005. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
- Ivey, Mike (March 7, 2006). "CAN A MEGA-DAIRY BE ORGANIC?". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
-  Archived December 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
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- "Deans Foods Buys Alpro", Dallas Business Journal, 6 July 2009.
- "French company buys dairy company Rachel's". BBC News. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
- Clout-Heavy Dean Foods Kills USDA Investigation of Their Horizon Label Cornucopia Institute. 12 May 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- "Grocers irked over not being told that bestselling soy milk is no longer organic". November 9, 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "Pioneer Press: Search Results". newsbank.com. "The Cornucopia Institute made the complaints to the U.S. Department of Agriculture against Target and also accuses Silk soymilk producer Dean Foods and its Broomfield, Colo.-based WhiteWave Foods division, of quietly shifting their products away from organics."
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- "USDOJ: Justice Department Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Dean Foods Company". Justice.gov. 2010-01-22. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
- "Dean Foods to Vigorously Contest Justice Department Complaint" (Press release). Dallas, Texas. January 22, 2010. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011 – via PRNewswire via COMTEX/.
Says Acquisition of Wisconsin Plants Benefits Farmers and Customers
- Hethcock, Bill. "Dean Foods to relocate corporate office." Dallas Business Journal. Monday June 8, 2009. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
- Wilonsky, Robert (October 13, 2010). "So Dean Foods Is Eliminating the 'Schepps' Name in Dallas. Well, That Doesn't Seem Right". Dallas Observer. Unfair Park. Archived from the original on October 16, 2010. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
- "Dean Foods to Transition Schepps Brand to Oak Farms in DFW Area" (Press release). PRNewswire. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on 12 November 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- Wernau, Julie (2012). "Dean Foods sued for Horizon milk's health claims - Chicago Tribune". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- "Who's Funding Prop 37, Labeling for Genetically Engineered Foods? | Propositions | Elections 2012". kcet.org. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
- "Funding for and against Proposition 37 - Spreadsheets - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. 2012-08-21. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
- Wallace, Alicia (23 May 2013). "Dean Foods completes spinoff of WhiteWave". Denver Post. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- Dean Foods hopes for milk rebound with DairyPure Fortune, May 4, 2015
- Moynihan, Colin; Moyer, Liz (April 7, 2017). "William T. Walters, Famed Sports Bettor, Is Guilty in Insider Trading Case". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- "Dean Foods Restructuring Information" (Press release). Retrieved November 12, 2019.
- Chapman, Michelle (November 12, 2019). "Business No. 1 milk company declares bankruptcy amid drop in demand". Associated Press. Retrieved November 12, 2019 – via Yahoo.
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