Lifeway Foods, Inc. announced Friday the beginning of kefir production at the former Golden Guernsey dairy plant in Waukesha, Wisconsin, that it acquired in May 2013 as a way to increase its manufacturing capacity.
"We acquired the Golden Guernsey plant because we urgently needed more production capacity," Julie Smolyanksy, president and CEO of Lifeway Foods, said.
Lifeway has been processing raw milk and producing its own bottles at the plant for more than a year, following major renovations as well as food safety certification of the upgraded facility.
With the global market for probiotics expected to reach $52.34 billion by 2020, the company plans to capitalize with their 170,000-square-foot plant that will more than quintuple the combined manufacturing capacity of Lifeway's three existing facilities to support ongoing growth in the company's kefir business.
The company plans to produce its top-selling products in Waukesha, taking advantage of both the large space and new high-speed manufacturing equipment to meet the demand for nutritious products from consumers throughout the country.
The Waukesha plant currently employs over 40 people, of whom more than 25 percent are former Golden Guernsey employees who lost their jobs after a bankruptcy filing closed the 58-year-old business. Lifeway purchased the shuttered plant for $7.4 million.