As COVID-19 pandemic-related shutdowns eased a bit (depending on the part of the United States you happened to be in) and breathed some life back into foodservice demand that had plummeted in 2020, 2021 suggested to meat processors what the “new normal” might mean for their sales and overall company growth.

And for many, it meant strong (even record) sales and a strong growth profile, whether it be for new products or expansion into new markets. But despite the numerous challenges meat processors must contend with in the current economic climate, more than a few Top 100 survey respondents reported having their best year ever in 2021.

2021 Top 100 Index:

While it has been said the three most important thing in real estate are “location, location, location,” for meat processors the three most important things in doing business might be “labor, labor, labor.”

Stubbornly tight labor availability joined supply chain delays and shortages as the top concerns for most respondents. Despite having to vie for inputs, equipment and workers, respondents are seeing the opportunities and not just contending with the challenges while navigating their way through rising cattle prices and inflationary increases on packaging supplies.

"If we can find the labor to fill orders, it should be a good year," Roger Williams, president of Union City, Tenn.-based Williams Sausage Co. Inc. said in the survey.   Williams Sausage Co. reported record sales of nearly $160 million for 2021.

Another record-setting performance was reported by Hormel, with the company setting record net sales, exceeding both $10 billion and $11 billion in sales for the first time in 2021, while also reporting the company’s two greatest net sales quarters in company history. The company reported investing more than $230 million into capital projects to boost production capacity in 2021, while returning a company record $523 million in dividends to shareholders.

Nearly two out of three of Top 100 survey respondents rated 2021 as either “good” or the “best ever” for their companies. Asked about the "greatest opportunity for your business in the coming year," a common refrain from respondents was taking advantage of expansion opportunities in existing markets as well as in new territories along with the growth in value-added products and foodservice business.

Twenty respondents reporting strong 2021 performance said they expect 2022 will be even better for their businesses.

If your company would like to be considered for the 2023 Top 100 Report, email Fred Wilkinson at wilkinsonf@bnpmedia.com.

BEEF
Company Sales in Sector
(in millions)
Overall Sales
(in millions)
Hormel Foods Corp. 1252.46 11,386
National Beef Packing Co LLC 1,160 1,160
STX Beef Co. LLC 614 614
Golden West Food Group 481.5 1070
Branding Iron Holding Inc. 460.7 475
Golden State Foods 388 400
Colorado Premium 357 420
Jensen Meat Co. Inc. 306.9 310
Monogram Foods 170 1,000
Norsan Meats LLC dba Prime Meats 121.7 196.3
House of Raeford Farms Inc. 121.7 196.3
John Soules Foods 105.9 706
George’s Inc. 68 1,700
Dole & Bailey Inc. 33 50
Cloverdale Foods Co. 26.56 166
Indiana Packers Corp. 24 1,200
Brookwood Farms 21.25 85
Abbyland Foods Inc. 16.85 421.2
CHICKEN
Company Sales in Sector
(in millions)
Overall Sales
(in millions)
Sanderson Farms Inc. 4,799 4,799
George’s Inc. 1,615 1,700
House of Raeford Farms Inc. 1,300 1,300
Case Foods Inc. 1,022 1,022
John Soules Foods 600.1 706
Hormel Foods Corp. 341.58 11,386
Golden West Food Group 310.3 1,070
Monogram Foods 60 1,000
Colorado Premium 50.4 420
Indiana Packers Corp. 24 1,200
Norsan Meats LLC dba Prime Meats 21.59 196.3
Abbyland Foods Inc. 8.4 421.2
Dole & Bailey Inc. 6 50
Brookwood Farms 4.25 85
PORK
Company Sales in Sector
(in millions)
Overall Sales
(in millions)
Hormel Foods Corp. 5,579 11,386
Indiana Packers Corp. 1,116 1,200
Monogram Foods 380 1,000
Rantoul Foods 348 348
Abbyland Foods Inc. 336.96 421.2
Swaggerty Sausage Co. 236 236
Golden West Food Group 224.7 1,070
Williams Sausage Co. Inc. 159.8 159.8
Cloverdale Foods Co. 139.44 166
Cooper Farms 117 585
Trim Rite Food Corp. 103.5 103.5
Brookwood Farms 55.25 85
Norsan Meats LLC dba Prime Meats 23.56 196.3
George’s Inc. 17 1,700
Branding Iron Holding, Inc. 14.25 475
Colorado Premium 12.6 420
Golden State Foods 12 400
Dole & Bailey Inc. 2.5 50
TURKEY
Company Sales in Sector
(in millions)
Overall Sales
(in millions)
Hormel Foods Corp. 2,163.34 11,386
Cooper Farms 468 585
Abbyland Foods Inc. 58.97 421.2
Monogram Foods 50 1,000
Golden West Food Group 10.7 1,070
Indiana Packers Corp. 36 1,200
Brookwood Farms 4.25 85
EXPORT
Company Sales in Sector
(in millions)
Overall Sales
(in millions)
Hormel Foods Corp. 683.16 11,386
Sanderson Farms Inc. 446.31 4,799
Indiana Packers Corp. 240 1,200
Case Foods Inc. 153.3 1,022
Rantoul Foods 104.4 348
George’s Inc. 85 1,700
Carl Buddig & Co. 38.15 763
Trim Rite Food Corp. 31.05 103.5
Cooper Farms . 29.25 585
STX Beef Co. LLC 6.5 614
Golden State Foods 12 400
Swaggerty Sausage Co. 4.72 236
Dole & Bailey Inc. 1 50
NATURAL / ORGANIC
Company Sales in Sector
(in millions)
Overall Sales
(in millions)
Hormel Foods Corp. 1,708 11,386
George’s Inc. 425 1,700
Swaggerty Sausage Co. 47.2 236
Carl Buddig & Co. 38.15 763
Dole & Bailey Inc. 12 50
Cloverdale Foods Co. 8.3 166
West Liberty Foods 8.1 809
Branding Iron Holding, Inc. 4.75 475
FRESH
Company Sales in Sector
(in millions)
Overall Sales
(in millions)
Hormel Foods Corp. 7,628.62 11,386
Sanderson Farms Inc. 4,299.9 4,799
George’s Inc. 1,258 1,700
Indiana Packers Corp. 960 1,200
Golden West Food Group 941.6 1,070
Case Foods Inc. 664.3 1,022
West Liberty Foods 558.21 809
STX Beef Co. LLC 552.6 614
Colorado Premium 210 420
Monogram Foods 200 1,000
John Soules Foods 183.56 706
Rantoul Foods 174 348
Monogram Foods 170 1,000
Golden State Foods 168 400
Norsan Meats LLC dba Prime Meats 157.04 196.3
Cloverdale Foods Co. 129.48 166
Trim Rite Food Corp. 72.45 103.5
Williams Sausage Co. Inc. 71.91 159.8
Dole & Bailey Inc. 35 50
Brookwood Farms 25.5 85
Branding Iron Holding, Inc. 23.75 475
Jensen Meat Co. Inc. 15.5 310
FROZEN
Company Sales in Sector
(in millions)
Overall Sales
(in millions)
Hormel Foods Corp. 683.16 11,386
John Soules Foods 522.44 706
Sanderson Farms Inc. 499.1 4,799
Branding Iron Holding, Inc. 451.25 475
George’s Inc. 442 1,700
Monogram Foods 400 1,000
Case Foods Inc. 357.7 1,022
Jensen Meat Co. Inc. 294.5 310
West Liberty Foods 250.79 809
Indiana Packers Corp. 240 1,200
Swaggerty Sausage Co. 236 236
Golden State Foods 232 400
Colorado Premium 210 420
Rantoul Foods 174 348
Golden West Food Group 117.7 1,070
Williams Sausage Co. Inc. 87.89 159.8
STX Beef Co. LLC 61.4 614
Brookwood Farms 59. 5 85
Norsan Meats LLC dba Prime Meats 39.26 196.3
Trim Rite Food Corp. 31.05 103.5
Cloverdale Foods Co. 29.88 166
Dole & Bailey Inc. 4 50
SHELF STABLE
Company Sales in Sector
(in millions)
Overall Sales
(in millions)
Hormel Foods Corp. 3,074.22 11,386
Monogram Foods 400 1,000
Dole & Bailey Inc. 11 50
Golden West Food Group 10.7 1,070
Cloverdale Foods Co. 6.64 166

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