Thursday, 21 September 2000

Dean Foods Lowers Second Quarter Earnings Expectations

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Thursday, 21 September 2000

FRANKLIN PARK, Ill., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ — Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF)
announced today that it expects earnings per share for the fiscal second
quarter, ending November 26, 2000, will be below expectations, in the range of
65 cents to 68 cents per diluted share. Second quarter sales are expected to
increase approximately 3 percent compared to the second quarter of fiscal
2000.

Second quarter sales in the National Refrigerated Products Group are
projected to increase over 30% from the prior year. New product
introductions, including Dips for One, Marie’s pourable salad dressings,
Intermediate Shelf Life Milk Chugs, and the Land O’Lakes Grip ‘n Go single
serve milk product, continue to progress well. Consistent with comments made
in the first quarter, the Company continues to invest in advertising,
promotion, and other costs associated with new product introductions. Second
quarter spending for these investments is expected to approximate first
quarter levels of $6 million.

The Company continues to see substantial growth in its intermediate and
extended shelf life products. Costs associated with the significant ramp-up
of complex, state-of-the-art technology to produce these products in the
National Refrigerated Products Group are expected to impact second quarter
earnings by approximately $4 million. The Company is focused on improving the
production processes and continued progress is expected throughout the second
half of the fiscal year.

Second quarter results in the Specialty Foods Group are being impacted by
a softening of sales for powdered products, principally in the international
export business, and for pickles. In this business segment, the Company was
unable to pass through higher packaging, distribution, and energy costs
incurred during the quarter. The Company is also consolidating a number of
regional pickle brands in order to improve distribution of its strongest
brands and increase operating efficiencies. The Company is supporting this
program through increased promotional and other expenditures. As a result of
these factors, the Specialty Foods Group’s second quarter earnings will be
reduced by approximately $4 million.

The Dairy Group is expected to generate earnings and margins for the
second quarter at approximately the same levels as in the first quarter of the
fiscal year. Volumes have been somewhat below expectations in selected key
markets due to continued relatively high prices for fluid milk at the retail level.

Howard Dean, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “While we
are disappointed with the overall anticipated results for the second quarter,
we are pleased with the solid performance of the Dairy Group and the strong
sales growth achieved within the National Refrigerated Products Group. We are
confident the operational issues associated with the intermediate and extended
shelf life technology will be resolved and the division will be a strong
contributor to second-half performance.”

The Company will provide guidance regarding performance for the remainder
of the fiscal year in conjunction with its second quarter earnings release on
December 20, 2000.

Dean Foods is one of the nation’s leading dairy processors and
distributors producing a full line of branded and private label products,
including fluid milk, ice cream and extended shelf life products, which are
sold under the Dean’s and other strong regional brand names. Dean Foods is
the industry leader in other food products including pickles, powdered
non-dairy coffee creamers, aseptically packaged foodservice products, and
refrigerated dips and salad dressings. More information about Dean Foods can
be found on its Web site at http://www.deanfoods.com .

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking as defined by
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements
involve certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to
differ materially from expectations as of the date of this press release.
These risks include, but are not limited to, the ability to integrate
acquisitions, adverse weather conditions resulting in poor harvest conditions,
raw milk and resin costs, interest rate fluctuations, competitive pricing
pressures, the effectiveness of marketing and cost-management programs and
shifts in the market demand.

SOURCE Dean Foods Company

Web site: http://www.deanfoods.com

Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/109161.htmlor fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 109161

CONTACT: Richard Bailey, President and Chief Operating Officer,or Barbara Klein, V.P. of Finance and Chief Financial Officer,847-678-1680, both of Dean Foods Company

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