Are you a fan of Kroger’s breakfast sausage? Have you ever wondered who is behind the production of this popular product?
Look no further, as we dive into the world of Kroger’s sausage and the companies responsible for its creation. From local meat processors to large-scale production facilities, we’ll explore the different players involved in bringing this beloved breakfast staple to your table.
Join us on this journey to uncover the mystery behind who makes Kroger sausage.
Who Makes Kroger Sausage?
Kroger, one of the largest grocery store chains in the United States, offers a wide variety of private-label products under its own brand name. One of the most popular products is their breakfast sausage, which can be found in the meat section of their stores. But who is responsible for making this delicious sausage?
The answer is not straightforward, as Kroger sources its sausage from various companies across the country. One such company is Phillips Meat Processing, located in Zanesville, Ohio. Phillips Meat Processing is dedicated to offering fresh cuts of meat and sources its meat locally from farms and livestock auctions. They recently renovated and expanded their facility to meet the growing demand for their products from Kroger.
Another company responsible for producing Kroger’s sausage is Tara Foods, located in Albany, Georgia. Tara Foods is one of the 34 production facilities for Kroger grocery stores and creates all store-brand peanut butter, peanut oil, juices, sauces, wines, and vinegars, baking and flavoring extracts, and liquid water enhancers. They create more than 250 different product varieties that are shipped to Kroger retail locations across the US, Canada, Mexico, China, and the UK.
Kroger also sources its sausage from other local meat processors and large-scale production facilities across the country. These companies are dedicated to using high-quality ingredients and ensuring that Kroger’s sausage meets their standards for taste and freshness.
Local Meat Processors
When it comes to local meat processors, Phillips Meat Processing in Zanesville, Ohio, stands out as one of the top suppliers for Kroger’s sausage. They are known for their dedication to offering fresh cuts of meat and sourcing their meat locally from farms and livestock auctions. They recently expanded their facility to meet the growing demand for their products from Kroger.
Dee-Jay’s Custom Butchering in Fredericktown, Ohio, is another local meat processor that supplies Kroger with one specific type of ham that goes to Michael’s Finer Meats for distribution. They are dedicated to using high-quality ingredients and ensuring that their products meet Kroger’s standards for taste and freshness.
Butcher Block No 9 and Charcuterie is a new butcher shop that offers local grown meats as well as wild game meats and sausages. While they may not be a direct supplier for Kroger’s sausage, they are an excellent option for those who prefer locally sourced meat products.
Large-Scale Production Facilities
In addition to local meat processors, Kroger sources its sausage from large-scale production facilities across the country. One such facility is Land O’Frost, which has a processing facility in Lansing, Illinois. The facility produces not only Kroger sausage but also hot dogs, lunch meats, and specialty products for their own brand as well as for other private-label brands.
The consolidation of operations from the Wimmer’s plant to the Lansing facility allowed for the modernization of the process and investment in new equipment, including bowl choppers, natural smoke generators, and portioning equipment for packaging. The plant operates with three stuffing lines and five packaging lines and has an annual hot dog and sausage production capacity of about 12 million pounds.
The addition of more smokehouses at the plant allowed for consistent and specific levels of smoke during the cooking process, ensuring that each product has the desired color and flavor. The plant operates with six smokehouses, each equipped to cook any of the products, from lunch meat to hot dogs or sausages. Operators use maple wood chips for the hot dogs and sausage and hickory wood to smoke the lunch meats.
Efficiencies were also realized at the consolidated plant with the addition of updated product handling and packaging equipment. For example, Wimmer’s signature Little Smokies cocktail sausages previously required each package to be weighed out manually, but now portioning equipment automates that process.
Quality Control Measures
To ensure that Kroger’s sausage meets their standards for taste and freshness, the company has implemented strict quality control measures. The sausage is audited for quality and safety prior to being sent out to customers, and compliance with all HACCP regulations is closely monitored. The production facilities are regularly inspected to ensure that they are in proper sanitary condition at all times, including pest control.
Kroger also requires its suppliers to adhere to certain standards for ingredient sourcing and manufacturing processes. This includes using hand-mixed spices, small-batch production, and real hickory wood smoke. The company’s founder and president’s motto is “Never Cheapen Your Products!”, which emphasizes the importance of maintaining high quality standards.
In addition to these measures, Kroger works closely with its suppliers to provide training on quality control procedures and HACCP regulations. This ensures that all employees are knowledgeable about the processes and functional interdependencies involved in producing Kroger’s sausage.
Sustainable Sourcing Practices
In addition to sourcing from various companies across the country, Kroger also places a strong emphasis on sustainable sourcing practices for its private-label products. For example, Kroger outsources 60 percent of its private brands for manufacturing, including all items for non-food private brands. This allows Kroger to work with suppliers who are committed to sustainable practices and who can meet the company’s high standards for quality and freshness.
One of Kroger’s suppliers, Niagara Water, which manufactures 90 percent of Kroger’s bottled water, is constantly improving its plant technology in the sector to reduce its environmental impact. Additionally, Kroger’s Simple Truth brand will launch a number of plant-based products this fall, appealing to the growing number of consumers looking to reduce their meat consumption for health or environmental reasons.
Kroger’s commitment to sustainable sourcing practices extends beyond just its private-label products. The company has set a goal to source 100 percent sustainable palm oil by 2020 and has already made significant progress towards achieving this goal. Kroger also works with suppliers who are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and minimizing waste in their production processes.
The Future Of Kroger Sausage
As more consumers are looking for alternatives to meat, Kroger has been expanding its plant-based offerings under its Simple Truth brand. This fall, Kroger’s Simple Truth brand will launch a new plant-based collection that includes meatless burger patties, ground imitation meat, sausages, deli slices, dips, and more. This move is in response to the growing number of consumers adopting a flexitarian lifestyle and reducing their meat consumption for health or environmental reasons.
In addition to plant-based options, Kroger has also been expanding its traditional meat offerings. They have partnered with companies like Phillips Meat Processing to meet the growing demand for their sausage products. Phillips recently renovated and expanded their facility to increase productivity and capacity, allowing them to meet the large orders from customers like Kroger.
Tara Foods, another company responsible for producing Kroger’s sausage, has also been expanding its production facilities to keep up with the growing demand for store-brand products. With more than 250 different product varieties shipped to Kroger retail locations across the globe, Tara Foods is dedicated to ensuring that Kroger’s sausage and other products meet their standards for taste and quality.