Our History

American Dairy with French Expertise.

At Lactalis Heritage Dairy we are passionate about bringing our heritage to life every day. We understand the power of food to connect people and enrich daily life.

Our beloved Lactalis Heritage Dairy American cheese brands have been trusted for generations and are part of the world’s largest dairy company, Lactalis. For nearly 100 years Lactalis has brought the world’s best dairy products to the family table.

The Lactalis Story

We began with a simple and ambitious mission and have since grown into the world’s leading dairy organization.

The Lactalis story began in 1933 when founder André Besnier made 17 camemberts in Laval, France. André continued to grow the brand and expand on innovative products until 1955 when his son Michel took over the family business. Under Michel’s leadership the brand saw extensive growth and continued to expand throughout Europe. By 1980 Lactalis opened its first U.S. office in New York City and continued expansion with more offices, plants, and distribution centers across the country. For nearly 90 years Lactalis has been growing, adding beloved brands, and following our passion to provide exceptional dairy products to the family table. Lactalis is now led by André’s grandson, Emmanuel Besnier, and has over 85,000 employees in 94 countries; people who care about providing healthy products, by connecting people across the globe.

Click to learn more about Lactalis and our journey to becoming the largest dairy organization in the world.

The Kraft Natural Cheese Story

As Lactalis continues to grow within the United States we are proud to add the Kraft Natural Cheese business to our story. In 1903 James L. Kraft began a cheese delivery service in Chicago, Illinois. After his brothers joined his cheese business, the Kraft company began utilizing their production and delivery capabilities to create no spoil cheese that was used for US soldiers during World War I. The Kraft company has been a staple in homes since 1930 with a variety of products — from cheeses, to candies, to snack foods — which resonate with American consumers daily. In 2021, Kraft Heinz’s natural cheese business joined the Lactalis family, allowing for the brands and products you’ve trusted for decades to now be supported by the expertise of Lactalis, the largest dairy company in the world.

We’re pleased to ensure our portfolio of dairy products is always expanding to fit your everyday needs. From your family breakfast table to your late-night snacking desires, we’ve got you covered! Lactalis Heritage Dairy is a true American melting pot of brands that inspire and delight our American customers. We know quality cheese and how to innovate the market, sustain our future, and bring us all closer together, one cheese plate at a time. We look forward to the journeys to come and more opportunities to engage with you.

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Grow with us. Enjoy with us. Continue to make history with us.

The Future of Lactalis Heritage Dairy

We’re thrilled to expand the Lactalis Heritage Dairy name through our product line, innovative brands, and our commitment to meeting your lifestyle needs. You can trust you’re always getting the best cheese has to offer with our beloved brands.

Lactalis Heritage Dairy got our start in 2021 with brand names you know and love including Kraft Natural & Grated Cheese, Cracker Barrel, Breakstone’s, Hoffman’s and Knudsen.

From Our Family to Yours

We promise to stay ambitious in all that we do, continue to engage with you, and keep it all simple, because at the end of the day we are people who love tasty food that brings people together.

Lactalis in the United States at-a-Glance

Lactalis divisions in the U.S. include Lactalis Heritage Dairy, Lactalis American Group, Lactalis US Yogurt, and Karoun Dairies, with offices, plants, and distribution centers across the country.

The Lactalis story, which began in France in 1933 and arrived in the U.S. in the 1980s, has evolved over the years, enriched by the heritage and spirit of each new employee and each acquired business. From our wide assortment of cheeses and yogurts to our butters and UHT milks, American families have been welcoming the Lactalis portfolio of local and global product brands into their homes for decades.

Together, we understand the power of food to connect people, unite cultures, and enrich daily life. We’re passionate about bringing the world’s best dairy products to family tables across the U.S.



©2022 Lactalis Heritage Dairy.  All rights reserved.

Lactalis Heritage Dairy bears no responsibility for the compliance, accuracy or content of any third-party websites linked to from its website.  

©2021 Lactalis Heritage Dairy. All rights reserved.