Maple Leaf plans pre-cooked bacon plant for Winnipeg

To satisfy strong demand for bacon that is heated in a microwave, Maple Leaf Foods has spent $182 million to increase the capacity of its Winnipeg plant.

The company announced this morning that the construction is complete and production of pre-cooked bacon will begin soon.

“Final commissioning of the 73,000 sq. foot expansion … is expected to be completed in the near term, with commercial production ramping up over the course of the coming months… This plant will become the company’s primary pre-cooked bacon production facility,” Maple Leaf said in a statement.

“As part of the expansion, the company is in the process of adding approximately 350 new positions at the plant, bringing total plant employment to over 1,900 people.”

The Manitoba government also announced today that it will invest $1.9 million in the project to help train new employees for the pre-cooked bacon plant.

“Maple Leaf Foods is a global leader in food and protein processing, and this investment builds on our protein strategy, which focuses on sustainability and innovation,” said Manitoba agriculture minister Ralph Eichler.

“Their expansion will advance our protein value chain and create significant spin offs that will strengthen the entire industry — all the way from the farmgate to the consumer’s plate.”

Maple Leaf operates a hog processing plant in Brandon, which will supply the material to make bacon at the Winnipeg plant.

Demand for bacon is strong around the globe. | Screencap via Twitter/@MapleLeafFoods

Demand for bacon is strong around the globe.

Last year, said the global bacon market was valued at US$27 billion in 2018 and is expected to hit $40 billion by 2027. That represents a growth rate of 4.3 percent per year.