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Bakalars Sausage Co. acquires Schweigert

Bakalars Sausage Co. has entered into an agreement to acquire the Schweigert brand from Cargill.

Bakalars Sausage Co. has entered into an agreement to acquire the Schweigert brand of hot dogs, natural casing dogs, braunschweiger, summer sausage and breaded chicken products from Wichita, Kan.-based Cargill Turkey & Cooked Meats. The transaction will be completed in October, and terms were not disclosed. Schweigert will expand the Bakalars portfolio of regional meat offerings.

“This is a wonderful addition to our portfolio of specialty meat items, and provides our business with another strong regional brand that complements our existing product line while strengthening and expanding our business,” said Mike Bakalars, president.  “We are excited about Schweigert’s growth potential and the fact that, like our business, it was founded in the 1930s and it includes an established consumer brand.”

Production will shift from Cargill’s Albert Lea, Minn., meat processing facility to the Bakalars plant at La Crosse, Wis., enabling Cargill to expand its remaining operations at Albert Lea. The Schweigert brand was acquired by Cargill in 2008 with its purchase of Willow Brook Foods.

“We are delighted Bakalars will continue the tradition of producing the quality Schweigert products so many consumers have come to love,” said John Niemann, Cargill Turkey & Cooked Meats president.  “Schweigert is a good fit for Bakalars and will provide their firm with incremental growth, while concurrently allowing us to expand other types of processing at Albert Lea to meet customer needs.”

Established in 1935, Bakalars is a regional wholesale meat company that distributes its products to retail and food service outlets throughout the Midwest. They were named Manufacturer of the Year in 2012, and their products have won numerous awards at the International Sausage Competition held in Frankfurt, Germany.

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