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Sara Lee

Maker of consumer products from food to household goods.

3500 Lacey Rd.
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Employees: 33,000
Interim CEO: Marcel Smits
Stock Symbol: SLE

Website: http://www.saralee.com

Career Site

Sara Lee Corporation is a global consumer products company specializing in the food, beverage, and household and body care businesses. 

Sara Lee is known for smoked meats, frozen desserts and hot dogs. Brands include Ball Park, Douwe Egberts, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Kiwi, Sanex, Senseo and its namesake, Sara Lee.

The company's main business groups are:
* North American Retail
* North American Foodservice
* International Beverage
* International Bakery
* International Household and Body Care

Sara Lee has operations in 58 countries and markets branded products in nearly 200 nations.

In fiscal 2010, the company reported net sales of $10.8 billion and net income of $527 million.

In November, the company sold its North American Fresh Bakery business to Grupo Bimbo for $959 million.


1939 Nathan Cummings acquires C.D. Kenny Company, a small wholesale distributor of sugar, coffee and tea in Baltimore, with net sales of $24 million.

1942 Sprague, Warner & Company is purchased. Corporation moves its headquarters to Chicago and changes its name to Sprague Warner-Kenny Corporation.

1946 Common shares of the company are admitted to trading on the New York Stock Exchange and the stock splits three-for-one.

1954 The stockholders vote to change the corporation's name to Consolidated Foods Corporation to emphasize its diversified role in food processing, packaging and distribution. The name was selected to identify with more than one segment of the food industry.

1956 Consolidated Foods Corporation acquires Kitchens of Sara Lee and enters the retail food business by acquiring 34 Piggly Wiggly supermarkets.

1957 Kitchens of Sara Lee introduced its first chocolate brownie to enhance its line of quality cakes.

1979 Consolidated Foods Corporation acquires Hanes, manufacturer/marketer of women's hosiery, foundation garments and swimwear, men's and boys' underwear and cosmetics (brands include L'eggs, Bali, Hanes, L'erin); Superior Tea and Coffee Company, nationwide distributor of coffee, tea and related products for the foodservice industry; and Gallo Salame, Inc., manufacturer of Italian dry sausage products.

1984 Jimmy Dean Meats, manufacturer of various meat, food and leather products, and Nicholas Kiwi Limited, Australian-based manufacturer and marketer of personal, household, shoe and car care products and home medicines, are acquired.

1985 Consolidated Foods changes its name to Sara Lee Corporation to reflect the consumer marketing orientation of the company and the high-quality, well-known branded products marketed around the world.

2006 Sara Lee spun off its apparel division HanesBrands into a separately traded company.


Some of the benefits provided by the company include:

- Medical/Rx
- Dental
- 401(k)
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Long-Term Care
- Vision

Updated November 9, 2010