The company was founded by George Barham in 1865 as the Express County Milk Supply Co., named after the fact that the firm only used express trains to transport its milk to London.
The major creamery and milk bottling plant was located just south of South Acton railway station. This gave easy and equal access for milk trains from both the Great Western Railway and the Southern Railway.
The Express Dairy Co. Ltd. was purchased by Grand Metropolitan in 1969 and sold on to Northern Foods in 1991. It was demerged from Northern Foods in 1998 and acquired a 51% controlling stake in Claymore Dairies Ltd. of Scotland for £2.2 million. In 1999 Express Dairies acquired Star Dairies Food Services Ltd. as well as the UK liquid milk operation of Glanbia plc.
Following a period of poor profitability, Express Dairies was purchased by Arla Foods in 2003. The business was sold on to Dairy Crest in 2006.