LA CROSSE, Wis. – First it was Cargill Pork, now it’s Schweigert. Wichita, Kan.-based Cargill Turkey & Cooked Meats has entered an agreement to sell its Schweigert brand to Bakalars Sausage Company, La Crosse, Wis. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cargill produced hot dogs, natural casing hot dogs, braunschweiger, summer sausage and breaded chicken products under the Schweigert brand.
Production of Schweigert products will shift to the Bakalars processing plant in La Crosse from Cargill’s Albert Lea, Minn., meat processing plant. The move will enable Cargill to expand its other operations at the facility, while Bakalars expands its portfolio of regional meat offerings. Bakalars is a regional wholesale meat company that distributes its products to retail and food service outlets throughout the Midwest.
“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.”
Cargill acquired the Schweigert brand in 2008 as part of 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.”