Walmart Puerto Rico announced Wednesday that it will add Puerto Rico-made handcrafted yogurt for adults and children produced by Hatillo-based Vaca Negra to the brand’s line of products sold at its stores.
The initiative is part of the mega-retailer’s “mission to substitute imports with local products,” said Viviana Mercado, Walmart Puerto Rico corporate affairs manager.
“We invest more than $500 million a year in the purchase of products harvested, processed and produced by Puerto Rican companies,” Mercado said.
“The results of initiatives like this are multiplied because of their impact in the creation and retention of direct and indirect jobs and the strengthening of the Puerto Rican economy,” she added.
The variety of Vaca Negra handcrafted yogurts is made with locally produced non-homogenized whole milk, with no antibiotics or r-BST, is lactose, preservatives and artificial additives free, and high in probiotics.
The yogurt line offers a wide variety of flavors that appeal to the palate of the local consumer, such as: coconut, piña colada, oats, guava shells, papaya, and natural flavor, which is unsweetened, for people with diabetes and to be used as an ingredient in recipes.
“Our business relationship with Walmart represents the opportunity to reach the necessary sales volume to cover and surpass the yogurt production operational expenses,” said local entrepreneur and Vaca Negra Inc. Founder Wanda Otero.
“We’re hopeful that we can continue our growth, so that we can keep creating jobs and buying milk from the Puerto Rican farmers,” she said.
Vaca Negra Inc. started producing cheeses under the Vaca Negra brand in 2008. These handcrafted cheeses are made with the best raw milk produced by the dairy farms in the Hatillo region.
Presently, the company produces 800 liters of yogurt twice a week with the same amount of liters of milk received directly form the dairy farms.
“Our yogurts are fresher, because they are bottled and distributed the day after they are made,” added Otero.
Puerto Rico’s yogurt market has increased significantly in the past three years, and the imports of yogurts from the U.S. mainland and Canada represents between $18 million and $20 million annually, Otero said.
“We work with many entrepreneurs that have innovative products and services and we’re satisfied that we can offer our stores as a platform to help them grow. We’re proud to be part of the success of this Puerto Rican businesswoman,” said Mercado.
Vaca Negra handcrafted yogurts are available at Walmart stores and Supermercados Amigo, store officials confirmed.