Sanderson Farms Inc. announced that it plans to locate a potential new poultry complex near Goldsboro, N.C. The construction of the new complex is subject to various contingencies, including obtaining satisfactory state and local incentives, locating suitable property, obtaining necessary permits and the approval of the company's lenders of an amendment to its revolving credit agreement permitting, among other things, the capital expenditures for the Goldsboro complex.

Sanderson Farms expects to invest approximately $94.0 million in the potential new big bird deboning complex. The project, if completed, will consist of an expansion of the feed mill for the company's Kinston, N.C., plant, a hatchery, a processing plant with capacity to process 1.25 million chickens per week and a waste water treatment facility. At full capacity, the plant is expected to employ approximately 1,100 people, require approximately 150 contract growers, and be equipped to process and sell 8.9 million pounds of dressed poultry per week. If all contingencies are met, the company expects to begin construction of the complex in the second quarter of fiscal 2011 and expects to begin operations in the third quarter of fiscal 2012.

The News & Observer reports that Sanderson Farms plans to sell 2 million shares to pay for the new facility and the Kinston expansion.

According to Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms, plans for this potential project have been approved by the company's board of directors. "This planned expansion in North Carolina will support our growth strategy and further enhance our ability to drive revenue and earnings for our shareholders. Once fully operational, the production at this new facility, together with the new production at our Kinston, North Carolina, facility, will represent a 30 percent increase to our processing capacity, and is expected to provide steady production growth for the company through 2014. In today's market environment, we believe we have a significant opportunity to leverage our efficient operations with the additional capacity of 1.25 million birds per week and take advantage of new markets. We are pleased that our strong balance sheet and financial performance have put us in the position to continue to grow our company."

Sources: Sanderson Farms Inc., The News & Observer

Hormel officially opens new Iowa plant

Hormel Foods Corp. will celebrate the grand opening of its new plant in Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday. Progressive Processing is the first new Hormel plant built in more than a decade, reports theAustin (Minn.) Daily Herald. The plany began processing Hormel Compleats microwaveable meals on Jan. 25.

“The plant is performing well,” said Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger. “It’s probably somewhat ahead of schedule in terms of the typical ramp up and some of the challenges you have in running brand new lines.”

Plant Manager Mark Zelle said the plant is operating at full strength.

“We’re still at a learning curve, but yet each day I believe we build a little bit more,” Zelle said. He noted that the employees have had to start at the ground floor in terms of food-handling procedures and food safety. The plant currently employs 90 people and will increase to 200 when a planned canning line is added. Ettinger said that no decision has been made as to what that canning line will be.

The plant also had several green features, including more than 200 skylights for natural lighting in the plant and sensors to turn on light fixtures when necessary. Hormel is also expecting the plant to receive its LEED certification by the summer.

Source: Austin Daily Herald

Perdue announces student winner

Perdue Farms Inc. announces a $1,000 National Prize winner in their Savor the Rewards: Instant-Win Cash Sweepstakes for College & University dining services. Last fall, Perdue ran its first ever consumer promotion targeting this segment.

The promotion was designed to reward student-customers and enhance incremental sales. Customers that ordered menu items prepared with Perdue products received scratch-off game cards with chances to instantly win Visa gift cards, meal credits and free drinks.

Students were directed to a Web site where they could register for the $1,000 National Prize. The winner, Michelle Theiss, a Salisbury University (SU) student, was selected at random by an independent agency as the national winner for the fall promotional period. SU was instrumental in the development of the promotion, and was the first school to accept the promotion. SU’s popular Gull’s Nest Café features eight menu items that utilize Perdue products.

Source: Perdue Farms Inc.

Burger King expands breakfast menu

Burger King Corp. announced the newest additions to its breakfast menu lineup, the BK Breakfast Muffin sandwich and BK Breakfast Bowl. Available for $1 at participating restaurants, the BK Breakfast Muffin sandwich features sausage, egg and melted American cheese on a freshly baked English muffin. It's the latest menu item available on the BK Breakfast Value Menu, which launched in early 2007 as the first national breakfast value menu among quick-service restaurants.

"The BK Breakfast Muffin sandwich provides more value for the money to our guests," said John Schaufelberger, senior vice president, global product marketing and innovation, Burger King Corp. "We took a breakfast sandwich that has proven likeability among consumers and are delivering it at a great price."

In addition to the BK Breakfast Muffin sandwich, participating BURGER KING restaurants nationwide will also feature the new, premium BKTM Breakfast Bowl. This on-the-go menu item features all of the ingredients of a typical breakfast platter, combining roasted southwestern potatoes, grilled onions and peppers, scrambled eggs and savory sausage topped with a three-cheese blend and a smoky cheese sauce.

Source: Burger King Corp.