Chicago-based consumer gods giant Sara Lee Corp is to boost its baked goods division with a series of acquisitions, new product launches and an increased advertising budget.

Sara Lee practically quadrupled the size of the division last July with the buyout of St. Louis-based Earthgrains Co, and Prudential Securities analyst John McMillin told the Crain News Service that this business is providing Sara Lee with a new innovation model.

Gary Jensen, senior VP marketing, told Crain that the company is mulling expansion into eight or ten categories in time: "People are used to finding Sara Lee sweet goods in the frozen section, but we want to move the brand to other locations in the store."

Sara Lee is currently testing a range of Ball Park Hot Dog Buns, designed to complement its Ball Park hot dog brand, and is developing a range of fresh specialty breads and buns.