Swiss dairy group Emmi is merging two US goat milk firms to form a new entity, Darey Brands.

Jackson-Mitchell, which Emmi acquired in 2017, has been combined with Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery, a business bought by the Switzerland-listed cheese maker in 2015.

Set up in 1934 in the Central Valley of California, Jackson-Mitchell owns the Meyenberg brand of goat’s milk and butter while, with origins dating back 50 years, Redwood Hill Farm manufactures its own line of goat milk yogurts and kefir. Based in Sebastopol in Sonoma County, California, the company also supplies Green Valley Creamery cow’s milk and lactose-free dairy products. It also offers plant-based alternatives.

Bonnie Neulight will head up Darey Brands as CEO and managing director.

“Our founders were innovative pioneers in healthy eating and sustainable agriculture long before these ideas became centre-stage movements,” Neulight said in a statement. “Our new name, Darey Brands, is not only a play on words, but also a nod to our heritage and ethos – we proudly craft dairy that dares to be different.”

Manufacturing plants of the merged entities will be retained in Sebastopol and Turlock, California. The combined businesses will continue to serve retailers such as Walmart, Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Albertsons and Sprouts Farmers Market.

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The Americas is Emmi’s largest market but as well as the US and Canada, the division also includes Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Tunisia and even Spain.

Sales in the region for the Swiss firm’s most recent first half amounted to CHF798.6m (US$848.2m), compared to the group total of CHF2bn, a figure that was up 7.1% in reported terms and 5.4% on an organic basis.

Emmi expanded its presence in the US last year with the acquisition of feta cheese maker Athenos from dairy peer Lactalis. The company also bolstered its US position in desserts in 2020 with the purchase of a majority stake in New York-based Indulge Desserts, building on an acquisition in 2019 for Italy’s Pasticceria Quadrifoglio.

2019 also saw the company raise its holding in Brazilian dairy company Laticínios Porto Alegre Indústria e Comércio and take a 66% majority interest in Austria’s Leeb Biomilch, a supplier of organic goat and sheep milk products.

For Emmi as a whole, the group posted EBIT of CHF108.6m in the first six months of its 2022 fiscal year, a decrease of 16%. Net profit fell 20.9% to CHF78.1m.