A quote from one of my favorite soccer players, Mia Hamm, rings in my head every time a company debuts an innovative new growth strategy: “Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.” One company currently raising the bar for its operations is California, Missouri-based Burgers’ Smokehouse, which is building its prowess in the meat sector following its recent acquisition of Edwards Virginia Smokehouse.
“The Burger and Edwards families have been friendly competitors for many years. Sam Edwards did a great job developing one of the most well-respected names in the country ham industry,” Chief Executive Officer Steven Burger explains to me. “We are extremely excited for the opportunity to grow the Edwards Virginia Smokehouse brand, along with the others in our portfolio, which now includes Clifty Farm Country Meats, Hobe’s Country Ham, and Burgers’ Smokehouse. We are the industry leader in cooked country ham for deli and meat departments across the country and plan to allocate the resources it takes to expand sales in the cooked country ham category.”
Currently, the provider has plans to add a second high-pressure processing system (HPP), to ensure product safety as the business continues to grow.
Burgers’ Smokehouse began making products for Edwards Virginia Smokehouse following a devastating fire that destroyed the provider’s Surry, Virginia, plant back in 2016. The Edwards family continued to own the brand as well as manage sales, marketing, and distribution until recently when Burgers’ Smokehouse agreed to buy the brand and selected assets. The deal officially closed on August 31.
“We have been producing Edwards’ products since the fire almost six years ago, so customers can expect to continue receiving the same high-quality products they have come to associate with the brand,” Steven explains. “As a result of the acquisition, we had to replace the existing distribution system with a new one to ensure a smooth transition.”
As ham often serves as a go-to entrée during holiday celebrations, the company’s products offer a key benefit when it comes to capitalizing on seasonal demand. However, like many other industry leaders, labor and supply chain pressures have posed challenges for the supplier. Steven candidly explains the company’s experience over recent months.
“We have been a reliable supplier of uniquely crafted cured and smoked meats to loyal e-commerce, retail, foodservice, and export customers for over 90 years,” Steven points out. “Normally, driving sales would be a big focus around this time of year. However, with a lack of available labor and unpredictable supply chain disruptions, we anticipate that demand will exceed our capacity in the near future. We are looking forward to some sense of normalcy next year so that our valued customers across our entire business can get the product they need.”
Deli Market News will keep a close watch to see how this pivotal acquisition will lay the foundation for the company’s continued growth, so keep clicking back.