The makers of BUBBA Burger, Bubba Foods, LLC , Jacksonville, Fla., said it agreed to buy a meat processing plant in Hastings, Neb., fromArmour-Eckrich Meats LLC(a Smithfield Foods company). Terms were not disclosed.

Bubba Foods said it owns and operates a production facility located in Elberton, Ga., which is undergoing a planned $7.7 million expansion to double the size of the plant. The addition of the Hastings plant will provide support for the growing demand for BUBBA burgers in central and west coast U.S. markets.

"Bubba Foods plans to invest over $11 million in the acquisition and renovation of the Hastings plant in order to meet the high standards of production and quality demanded by the BUBBA burger consumer," officials said. "With the plant expansion in Elberton, Ga., and the acquisition of the Hastings, Neb., plant, Bubba Foods LLC is investing over $18.7 million in the future of the BUBBA burger."

At full production, Bubba Foods said it estimates that more than 200 jobs will be created at the Hastings plant generating a payroll in excess of $7,000,000.  The location of the plant in Hastings, Neb., will provide Bubba Foods more immediate access to raw material in the region.  Bubba Foods' corporate policy is to purchase packaging and plant materials with the assistance of local suppliers. The purchase of the Hastings plant is scheduled to close at the beginning of March of this year with renovations scheduled to be completed and the plant operational by the middle of the summer.

"The BUBBA burger continues to experience tremendous growth in demand as the number one selling frozen  burger in the US," said President and CEO Billy Morris. "The acquisition of the plant in Hastings, Neb., will allow us to meet the strong demand for the BUBBA burger in the Midwest and West coast of our nation." 

Chief Operating Officer Steve Coon added, "We are excited about the opportunity to continue to expand our production capacity with the addition of the Hastings plant," and "it is a well positioned location for production of the BUBBA burger with its proximity to raw material suppliers and a great pool of employees with a high level of meat processing experience."