Hero/WhiteWave LLC, a joint venture between Switzerland'sHero Groupand Dean Foods'WhiteWave Foods, opened a $35 million plant in Mount Crawford, Va., to produce Fruit2day, a refrigerated juice drink containing real fruit segments.

Hero, Lenzburg, Switzerland, said it developed Fruit2day in 2003 in the Netherlands and that the product is now available in several European markets. Officials say the Virginia plant provides "a unique platform to develop a wide range of chilled-fruit innovations in the coming years."

Said Hero CEO Stefan Heidenreich, "We will build on the success of Fruit2day in Europe to successfully launch into the $700 million U.S. chilled fruit category. Dean's WhiteWave division represents an excellent partner for Hero based on their sales and distribution strength in the U.S. and our shared passion for providing consumers with innovative, nutritious products."

WhiteWave Foods is based in Broomfield, Colo.