Sara Lee beefs up meat business

American food giant Sara Lee is strengthening its meat business with the acquisition of Californian-based Aidelss Sausage Company.

The $87m (£53m) purchase will expand the company’s presence in the organic and natural meat sector, as well as increasing coverage of fast growing retail channels across North America.

The move comes as Sara Lee prepares to split into two companies. One will focus on its North American meat, retail and foodservice business, with a new company concentrating on its international bakery and coffee business.   

Sara Lee’s executive chairman, Jan Bennink said: “Aidells premium, high-potential products will enhance our North American meat portfolio.”

“We are focused on preparing both the coffee company and the meat company for strong and vibrant futures,” he said.

Despite struggling with higher prices, the company’s third quarter results reported particularly strong volume growth in two of its meat brands - breakfast sausage business Jimmy Dean and quality meat brand Hillshire Farms.