Functional food maker Lifeway Foods has announced its intent to acquire a privately held gourmet cream cheese producer based in the Philadelphia area.

“This company produces and sells an excellent line of gourmet cream cheeses, as well as products similar to our own farmers’ cheese,” said Julie Smolyansky, Lifeway Foods’ president.

“This addition to Lifeway Foods provides the company with several strategic advantages with the most important being that it now gives us our own distribution system on the East Coast. This will allow us to more cost effectively distribute Lifeway’s existing product lines to these large and important Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey markets. These are significant kefir markets and we believe they can also be important markets for our LaFruta, Lo Carb Kefir and other product lines,” she said, adding that the company expects to complete the acquisition within the next 30-60 days.

Lifeway is a manufacturer of cultured, probiotic and functional food products, including the cultured dairy product known as kefir.