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Lifeway Foods Inc. (LWAY) is Cultured When it Comes to Their Products

Founded in 1986 by Michael Smolyansky, Lifeway Foods Inc. is America’s top supplier of kefir. A cultured dairy product, Lifeway’s kefir beverage contains Lifeway’s exclusive 10 active probiotic cultures. This is significant, as most regular yogurts contain less of these types of cultures – often only two or three. The company also produces organic kefir.

Today, Julie Smolyansky, Michael’s daughter, is the president and CEO of Lifeway Foods Inc. The company has come a long way from their humble beginnings, with Michael creating kefir in his basement, and going on sales calls to Chicago area grocery stores. They now have a new production facility in Morton Grove, Illinois, and produce 12 different flavors of their products. They market their Lifeway Kefir beverage, organic kefir, and SoyTreat – along with other products – to supermarkets, grocery stores, gourmet shops, delicatessens, and convenience stores.

The company also markets a drinkable yogurt, which is a distinct product from kefir, and sells farmer’s cheese, a soft unripened cheese. Another product they have is ProBugs. This is a children’s line of organic kefir products sold in a patented no-spill pouch. This product sells with exotic flavor names like Orange Creamy Crawler and Sublime Slime Lime.

On June 11, 2008, Lifeway Foods, Inc. announced they are now using milk that comes from cows not treated with hormones. The company offers a farmer’s pledge concerning this 100-percent-certified, hormone free milk. Lifeway will market this pledge on the labels of its products. Julie Smolyansky, CEO said, “We are pleased to now offer milk that is certified 100% hormone free to our growing customer base that has recently voiced demand for this type milk. Previously the milk we offered was hormone and antibiotic free, however, we now have a Farmer’s Pledge that certifies the milk is hormone free. We think this added benefit will continue to help us reach a wider group of health conscious consumers.”

Lifeway Foods Inc. continues to develop new products and flavors for their customers. They see their uniquely cultured products as the way to future growth. With 60 percent of their sales coming from kefir and drinkable yogurts, and the other 40 percent from cheese-based products, the company is using culture to enhance their market position.

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