Smithfield formed a 50/50 joint venture with KC Sausage and its sister company, Pine Ridge Farms LLC, in Feb. 2013. The agreement enabled Smithfield to expand its breakfast and dinner sausage categories which generated $4 billion in retail and foodservice sales at the time.
“This latest acquisition will build on the success of our growing packaged meats business and brands. It simultaneously enhances our vertically integrated supply chain, further harmonizing our live production and processing capabilities,” Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods, said in a statement. “With this transaction, we will strengthen our focus on branded pre-rigor pork products and leverage Smithfield's expansive sales and distribution network to bring these premium offerings to more consumers.”
Following the formation of the joint venture with Smithfield, KC Sausage acquired the assets of Martin’s Abattoir & Wholesale Meats in Cumberland County, North Carolina, and its sister companies Coastal Protein Products Inc. and Coastal Protein Inc., in December 2013.
In May 2015, Smithfield and KC Sausage announced plans to build a 90,000-sq.-ft. pork processing plant on the site of the former Martin’s Abattoir at a cost of $44.8 million. Construction on the new facility was completed in 2016. Approximately 1,000 sows per day are processed at the facility to make 50 million lbs. of pork sausage annually. Former Smithfield CEO C. Larry Pope said the new facility was an essential part of the company’s strategy to broaden product offerings and the company’s geographic footprint.
KC Sausage also has operations in Des Moines, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri. The Des Moines operation produces raw materials for sausage and value-added products such as boneless hams and hides, while the Kansas City plant is described as a modern sausage processing facility that is designed for optimum efficiency.
“This full acquisition further supports the growth of several key packaged meats categories, including breakfast and fresh dinner sausage, as well as Italian style meal solutions like meatballs,” said Joseph B. Sebring, president, packaged meats division of Smithfield Foods. “Kansas City Sausage produces some of Smithfield Foods’ fastest-growing products including Smithfield Breakfast Sausage, Smithfield Craft Collection Seasonal Brats, and Carando Meatballs. In fact, Carando currently boasts the fastest selling fresh meatball in the US.”