Companies in this industry slaughter animals and prepare meat products. Major companies include Hormel Foods and Tyson Foods (both headquartered in the US); JBS and BRF-Brasil Foods (Brazil); NH Foods (Japan); Danish Crown (Denmark); and China's WH Group, which owns Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the US.
About 260 million metric tons of pork, poultry, and beef products are manufactured worldwide each year, including about 42 million metric tons manufactured in the US. China, the EU, the US, and Brazil are the largest meat producers.
The US meat product manufacturing industry includes about 3,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $200 billion.
Demand is driven by consumer income and by exports. Because meat is largely a commodity, the profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and an effective distribution network. Large companies have big economies of scale in production and distribution. Small companies can compete effectively in a local area or by producing unique products.
In the US, the slaughtering segment of the industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 90 percent of segment revenue. The secondary processing segment, meat processed from carcasses, is also concentrated: The top 50 companies generate about 70 percent of segment revenue. Poultry processing is highly concentrated: The top 50 companies generate more than 90 percent of revenue.
Imports, primarily from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, account for about 4 percent of the US market. Exports, which...