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SUFFOLK, VA-Sara Lee Coffee & Tea Co., a subsidiary of Chicago-based Sara Lee Corp., has started site work on a 152,000-sf plant expansion to accommodate equipment for a new $93 million concentrated liquid coffee production line. The expansion is projected to bring 100 new jobs to the area.

The product will be the first of its kind in the United States, according to Houston-based Industrial Information Resources Inc., which tracks daily development plans of major manufacturers and distributors.

The frozen liquid concentrate coffee stays hot up to 21 hours at room temperature after brewed, the Texas researcher reports. Sara Lee already produces the product at its plant in The Netherlands. The company’s target markets are hotel chains and commercial restaurants.

The 152,000-sf building will house 80,000 sf of production equipment; 60,000 sf of utility and storage area; and 12,000 sf of office. The capital investment is the largest of its kind for the company, says Information Resources.

In 2000, Sara Lee posted $18 billion in sales through brand names such as Hanes, Leggs, Hillshire Farms, and Bryan Foods & Ball Park Franks. The company bought the Earthgrains Co. of St. Louis in August of this year for $2.8 billion to become the No. 2 player in the fresh-bread market, according to Information Resources.

Sara Lee Coffee & Tea Co. is based in suburban Bensenville, IL.

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