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Tyson Opens New Bacon Production Facility

The facility includes high-tech robots that help eliminate ergonomically stressful tasks.

Kristen Kazarian

January 25, 2024

3 Min Read
Tyson opens new bacon facility
The new facility will produce Jimmy Dean and Wright bacon for retail and food service.Image courtesy of Tyson Foods Inc.

Tyson Foods has officially opened its new $355 million food production facility in Bowling Green, KY. Built to support a significant expansion of its bacon production capabilities, the new plant positions Tyson Foods to capitalize on its category leadership and the increasing market for its products.

The 400,000-sq.-ft plant, which represents a significant investment in the local community, is expected to produce two million pounds per week of premium quality Jimmy Dean and Wright Brand bacon retail products and bacon used in foodservice. Bacon represents over $1 billion in sales across retail and foodservice at Tyson Foods. The new plant will help the company meet the needs of this category now and as it grows in the future.


“Our innovative new plant in Bowling Green reflects a major investment that we are proud to make in southcentral Kentucky,” said Donnie King, president and CEO, Tyson Foods. “This enables us to focus on the health and safety of our team members while also delivering best in class service for our customers.”

Tyson Foods is a bacon category leader in foodservice and at retail with Jimmy Dean products representing the fastest-growing retail food brand over the past two years and Wright Brand products rising to the No. 1 consumer choice at retail in the stack category, according to Nielsen data. The new facility represents a significant opportunity for Tyson to further innovate with new bacon flavors, cuts, and products like fully cooked bacon.

“Bacon is a growing category based on consumer demand, both at home and at restaurants, and our expanded production will enable us to lead this growth and drive innovation,” said Melanie Boulden, group president of Prepared Foods and chief growth officer at Tyson Foods.

Tyson Foods selected Bowling Green due, in part, to its proximity to raw materials in the protein leader’s pork supply chain and to inbound and outbound transportation lanes in support of the company’s focus on efficiency and operational excellence. It also enables end-to-end profitability by utilizing pork bellies provided primarily by Tyson Foods’ pork segment.

“The grand opening of Tyson Foods’ cutting-edge facility marks a significant leap in Kentucky’s economic development and job creation efforts," said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. "This plant embodies our vision for a flourishing Kentucky and symbolizes a new chapter of growth and prosperity in our state, thanks to Tyson Foods' expansion.”

The Bowling Green plant was designed with safety and well-being of team members at the forefront. It combines high-tech robots that help eliminate ergonomically stressful tasks such as transporting large pork bellies along multiple production lines, packing and stacking boxes, and safely moving product through production zones with driverless forklifts and autonomous guide vehicles (AGVs).

Tyson also is partnering with Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC) to offer relevant technical training, including a robotics lab, to its team members. These initiatives are part of the company’s commitment to becoming the most sought-after place to work, reflected through competitive pay, benefits and a safe and healthy workplace.

The new facility will create nearly 450 new jobs in south central Kentucky.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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