Land O’Lakes, Inc., Arden Hills, Mich., acquired substantially all of the assets of Philia Foods, a Minneapolis-based processor of spreadable feta cheese sold in retail locations across the Twin Cities Metro and in various markets on the East and West Coasts.

The acquisition of Philia Foods, which will be fully integrated into Land O’Lakes, supports the company’s dairy innovation strategy and provides an opportunity to deepen its innovation pipeline through smaller-brand incubation.

“We think of this as an acquisition of time – time that would have been spent developing, testing and marketing a product in the highly attractive snacking and specialty dairy category,” says Raquel Melo, vice president of innovation and new business development at Land O’Lakes. “Philia Foods products are in some settings where even Land O’Lakes has yet to gain a foothold. In return, we have a lot of expertise to offer.”

While the initial focus is to fully integrate the business into Land O’Lakes, moving forward, Land O’Lakes will work to accelerate the business growth by providing expertise in distribution, procurement, marketing and quality co-manufacturing support.

Mike Rakes, founder of Philia Foods, will serve as Land O’Lakes’ marketing manager, overseeing the Philia Foods brand.