Emmi tops US feta market with Athenos buy

Swiss dairy group Emmi has purchased US brand Athenos and has now risen to the top of the US feta market, as in 2020 Athenos achieved sales of almost $90 million (€76.2m). With the acquisition of the Athenos business from the Lactalis Group, Emmi creates additional export opportunities for Swiss cheese due to the strengthened sales force.

“With Athenos, the number 1 in the US feta market joins Emmi. We are convinced to be well positioned for the further development of this business. It strengthens our position in the strategically important US market and thus our growing export business from Switzerland, if we can offer our customers an even more extensive and attractive total assortment in the future,” says Matthias Kunz, executive vice president of the Americas Division at Emmi.

Central to the strategic plan is Emmi Roth USA, which has been in the Emmi Group stable since 2009. Emmi Roth now operates three production sites in the state of Wisconsin and serves nationwide customers from retail trade and food service with locally manufactured and Switss imported speciality cheeses.

Emmi expects that the popularity of feta cheese in the US will continue to increase. The acquisition of Athenos and the integration of this business in Emmi Roth USA also offers growth potential due to the complementary distribution channels. In addition to a strong retail business, Emmi Roth USA has established close customer relationships in the food service area.

Furthermore, the export business with Swiss cheese should also benefit from strengthening the sales base and thus continue the positive development of recent years. At the same time, Athenos can benefit from the marketing expertise of Emmi Roth USA and address new consumers through digital marketing and social media.

The acquisition is subject to approval by the US supervisory authorities.

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