The company said that it was planning to spend $2.3 million on ground beef processing and packaging equipment at its Wyalusing facility "to meet retail customer and consumer demand". It added that the investment would enable it to significantly increase the ground beef production capacity of the plant and create 15-20 new jobs.
Andy Ripic, Cargill vice-president and plant general manager at Wyalusing, said: "Cargill produces more ground beef than any other company in the world, and demand continues to be strong for this form of protein as an American staple food.
"Our customers have told us they would like us to produce more ground beef to meet demand. With the arrival of spring, we will soon be getting into the grilling season, so installing equipment, adding jobs and filling the ground beef needs for retailers we serve in the north east is a ‘win’ for everyone involved."
Cargill is putting significant emphasis on ground beef this year with a promotional drive, including artwork of a large burger on a bun with the tagline ‘Our Certified Ground Beef’ on the race-car of Cargill-sponsored NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne, as well as the launch of a new consumer website cargillgroundbeef.com, with information on the ground beef production process, as well as a range of recipes.
"Ground beef is used for making many foods enjoyed by people across the country, from meatballs to meatloaf, burgers to tacos, chili to spaghetti sauce to name six," stated Katie Blick-White, associate brand manager for Cargill Beef.
"Consumers have told us they want to eat beef, and that ground beef is an affordable way for them to routinely enjoy wholesome, flavourful, high-quality, affordable protein, especially during a challenging economic environment such as the one America has experienced over the past five years."