Johnsonville Foods

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Johnsonville Sausage, LLC
Industry Food processing
Founded 1945
Founder Ralph F. Stayer
Alice Stayer
Headquarters Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.
Products Sausage

Johnsonville Sausage is a sausage company headquartered in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.[1] Founded in 1945, it is one of the largest sausage producers in the United States[2] and the largest sausage brand by revenue in the United States.[3] Johnsonville sausage is available in more than 35 countries. Privately owned, the company has approximately 1,400 employees.[4]


In 1945, Ralph F. and Alice Stayer (original: Štajer) who were from Slovenia, opened a butcher shop and named it after their hometown, Johnsonville, Wisconsin. The sausage made in their butcher shop came from an old family recipe, which originated from the family tree from 19th-century Slovenia, part of Austria at the time.[5]

Corporate headquarters


Johnsonville Sausage produces a variety of sausage products, including: brats, grillers, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links, breakfast sausage in fully cooked and fresh varieties, chicken sausage, meatballs and summer sausage.[6]


In 2009, the National Pork Board ranked Johnsonville Foods first in sow slaughter capacity. The company had the facilities to slaughter 3,250 pigs every day, 400 more than the next largest company.[7]

Animal welfare controversy[edit]

In 2013, Johnsonville Foods came under public pressure to stop using gestation crates. A petition asked the company to stop purchasing pork products from suppliers that confine breeding pigs to cages that restrict their ability to turn around during pregnancy. The petition was supported by The Humane League and acquired over 73,000 signatures. Two months later, Johnsonville Foods stated it would be working with its suppliers to move from gestation stall housing to alternative pregnant sow housing by 2025.”[8]

2015 Recall[edit]

On September 3, 2015, Kenosha Beef International voluntarily recalled 89,234 pounds of pork sausage patties marketed as Johnsonville Cheddar Cheese & Bacon Grillers after consumers found metal fragments in them.[9] The product was manufactured by Kenosha Beef International, and contaminated product was sent to grocery stores in 11 states.[10] The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service classified the recall as Class I, and no reports of injury or illness have occurred.[11]


In 2016, Johnsonville Foods became the title sponsor for the 2016 BaconFest Naples ( fundraising event in Naples, FL hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Pelican Bay (Naples, FL). The one day event draws 7000 people and is located at the Naples Municipal Airport South Terminal Lawn. 100% of the net proceeds from the event go toward helping end childhood hunger in Southwest Florida via the Kiwanis Club charity partners, St. Matthews House, Blessing in a Backpack and the Pan-Florida Challenge for Hungry Kids.[12]


  1. ^ "Company Overview of Johnsonville Sausage LLC" Bloomberg Businessweek.
  2. ^ "The Pork Industry at a Glance" (PDF). National Pork Board. 
  3. ^ " Bratwurst brand claims bragging rights as nation's top sausage" Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, August 21, 2005. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The Pork Industry at a Glance" (PDF). National Pork Board. 
  8. ^ "Johnsonville Animal Welfare". Johnsonville Foods. 
  9. ^ Dickinson, Hilary. "Johnsonville grillers included in Kenosha Beef recall". - Milwaukee business news. BizTimes Media LLC. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "Recall alert: Johnsonville Grillers sausage patties recalled after metal found". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "Johnsonville recalls 89,000 pounds of pork sausage over possible contamination". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "Sponsorship's". Kiwanis Club of Pelican Bay. 

External links[edit]