US bacon giant extends repertoire with $170m investment

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Cooking Beef Pork Poultry Processing equipment & plant design

SugarCreek, the largest independent processor of bacon in the US, is investing $170 million in two new facilities, including what it claims is the nation’s largest sous vide line. 

A new, 435,000 sq ft $120m facility in Cambridge City, Indiana (CCI) will open in July. It will have three high-volume cooking cells – infrared, impingement ovens with char markers and the sous vide line.  

Sous vide is a process where the meat is vacuum-sealed in a plastic bag and then slow-cooked in a water bath. SugarCreek will use the sous vide technique to create vegetables, starches, seafood, and other protein snacks.

Sous vide

The facility will feature 10 Armor Inox tanks for sous vide, with each one capable of processing up to 11,000 pounds of dense product per cycle. 

The company is also investing $50m in its new headquarters in Fairfield, Ohio, which will include a new Culinary Innovation Center, featuring two test kitchens and a USDA-certified R&D lab. It will use the centre to co-develop new menu items with customers spanning a variety of industries – including hospitality, restaurants, airlines and supermarkets.

'Diverse audience'

Michael Richardson, chief operating officer for SugarCreek, said: “Until now, sous vide has been limited to high-end, small-batch cooking in the US. With our new CCI facility, we’ll be able to introduce sous vide-prepared foods to a broader and diverse audience of the nation’s top food brands.” 

“Bacon will always be at the heart of SugarCreek, but now we will be working with beef, poultry, seafood, vegetables and more.”

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