US functional food maker Lifeway Foods has announced that it plans to investigate opportunities for manufacturing and selling its products in Canada.

Lifeway has already formed Lifeway Foods Canada as a business unit of its LFI Enterprises subsidiary and is in the process of obtaining registration for Lifeway Foods Canada to engage in commercial activities in Quebec.

“We have had continued success with our products in Montreal and Toronto, and are greatly excited to explore the possibility of pursuing these markets by manufacturing our products directly in Canada,” said president and CEO Julie Smolyansky.

“Our principal operations in the United States will not be affected by our examination of a potentially larger role in the Canadian marketplace,” she added.

Lifeway makes cultured, probiotic and functional food products, including the cultured dairy product known as kefir. The company also participates in the organic and soy markets.

The company recently reported a 45% rise in 2003 net income to US$2.2m, while sales rose 22% to $14.9m.