May 31/Downers Grover, Ill./Gourmet Retailer -- Sara Lee Corp. wrapped up its acquisition of Aidells Sausage Co., the San Francisco-based premium meats business, on May 27.

“Aidells’ passion for making great-tasting, natural and organic sausages has attracted a loyal consumer following and shaped a truly premium brand,” says CJ Fraleigh, CEO of the Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sara Lee North America. "Adding Aidells’ great products and talented team of employees to our organization will expand Sara Lee’s presence in the premium meats category and help us to drive even greater innovation.”

This acquisition expands Sara Lee’s presence into the organic and natural meats segments, while also increasing Sara Lee’s coverage of fast growing retail channels, such as club stores and organic grocers.

According to the Aidells' website, Bruce Aidells started making artisan chicken sausage in 1983. His first sausage -- Chicken Apple -- is still an Aidells bestseller.

With a broad portfolio of food and beverage brands, including Ball Park, Douwe Egberts, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Sara Lee and Senseo, Sara Lee’s collective brands generate nearly $9 billion in annual net sales from continuing operations.

 

From the June 1, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.