There has been the sense of optimism about a turnaround for the U.S. economy since the start of the year, and some evidence of that turnaround is starting to show up. For example, the National Restaurant Association Restaurant Performance Index recently topped 100 for the first time in two years. A score of more than 100 indicates expansion, and after 29 months of contraction, processors who are suppliers to the foodservice industry will surely find that rating welcome news.

The last two years have been a struggle for the industry, and it shows on this year’s chart. While a number of processors enjoyed growth in yearly sales - significant growth, in some cases - many others broke even or lost ground when compared to 2009’s numbers. There were still new product launches, new facilities and expansions, as well as a couple of key acquisitions that will make some changes to the 2011 Top 100 list.

To view The National Provisioner's Top 100 listings, please follow this link.