Industrialinfo.com (Industrial Information Resources, Inc.; Houston, Texas) has reported that Sara Lee Coffee & Tea Company (Bensenville, Ill.) as subsidiary of Sara Lee Corporation (NYSE:SLE; Chicago, Ill.) is expanding their Suffolk, Va., plant through the addition of a $93 million concentrated liquid coffee production line.

This capital investment represents the largest ever undertaken by the company and the product and unit will be the first of their kind in the United States. Plans call for the construction of a 152,000 square foot (sqft) building and the installation of proprietary processing and packaging equipment to produce a frozen liquid concentrate coffee that keeps up to 21 hours at room temperature after brewed. Sara Lee's target markets are commercial restaurants and hotel chains. Sara Lee already produces the product at their plant in the Netherlands.

Site work has begun in Suffolk and construction is scheduled to be completed by December 2004 and is expected to bring over 100 new jobs to the area. The new line will include 12,000 sqft of office space, 80,000 sqft of production and packaging area plus 60,000 sqft of utility and storage space.

Sara Lee recorded over $18 billion in sales last year through brand names like Hanes, Leggs, Hillshire Farms, Bryan Foods & Ball Park Franks. They also acquired The Earthgrains Company (St Louis, Mo.) in August 2001 for $2.8 billion to become the number two player in the fresh bread market.

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