Companies in this industry slaughter and process poultry and small game. Major companies include US-based Koch Foods, Perdue, Pilgrim's Pride (owned by Brazil-based JBS), Sanderson Farms, and Tyson Foods; as well as Industrias Bachoco (Mexico), Charoen Pokphand Foods (Thailand), and the Brazilian firms BRF and Copacol.
World population growth and rising demand for protein drive revenue for the poultry industry. Global output of poultry meat is about 110 million metric tons per year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The US, China, and Brazil are the largest producers.
The US poultry product manufacturing industry includes about 300 companies with combined annual revenue of about $60 billion.
Demand is driven by domestic meat consumption trends and export markets. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient production and distribution. Big companies have economies of scale in production and distribution. Small companies can compete successfully by targeting regional markets or by producing specialized products. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for more than 90% of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major products are fresh or frozen young chickens (about 45% of industry revenue) and processed poultry or meat products (about 30%). Other products include turkeys and birds such as ducks, geese, and Cornish hens.
Chickens grown for eating (rather than laying eggs) are called broilers. About 8.5 billion broilers are produced in the US each year; the average broiler weighs about 6 pounds. About 250...