Top 125

Last Year, Gold Kist was one of the top Chicken Processors in the Country and in the Upper Echelon of the National Provisioner’s top 125 List. Carolina Turkeys was at no. 35, With Sales of $516 Million, and was Looking to Grow the Business. Coleman Natural Products, King’s Delight and Snow Ball Foods Were all Separate Companies.
Things have changed considerably in a year for those companies and several others. Gold Kist was acquired by Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. in December of 2006, cementing the Pittsburg, Texas-based processor’s status as the largest chicken processor in the country and the second-largest poultry processor behind Tyson Foods. Carolina Turkeys, meanwhile, acquired the Butterball brand from ConAgra Foods, changed its name to Butterball LLC and became the newest billion-dollar company on the Top 125 report. Coleman Foods in August 2006 announced the merger of several companies, including King’s Delight and Snow Ball, into Coleman Natural Foods LLC. The new company generated sales of more than $600 million in 2006, making for one of the largest jumps of any company on the Top 125 report.
In total, six of the companies that were on last year’s Top 125 list have since been acquired by other companies. Brawley Beef was acquired by National Beef, Amick Farms by OSI Group, and Zartic Inc. by Pierre Foods. At the current rate, the Top 125 list of 2028 will feature exactly one meat-processing company, with sales of several hundred billion dollars.
New Developments
Companies on the Top 125 list tend to get that way by not standing pat. Several of the companies in this year’s report released new products, opened new buildings or added new processes. Here is a rundown of some of the latest news from the top packers and processors.
Tyson Foods Inc. (#1) formally unveiled its new 100,000-square-foot Discovery Center at its Springdale, Ark., headquarters. The new building is the home for Tyson’s research and development team and includes 19 test kitchens and its own multi-protein pilot plant. The company also joined with Cactus Feeders Inc., one of the world’s largest cattle feeding companies, and Cresud, a leading Argentine producer of basic agricultural products, to form Argentina’s first vertically integrated beef operation. Sales for the venture are expected to be more than $30 million in 2007.
Cargill Meat Solutions (#2) acquired Beef Packers Inc. in Fresno, Calif., to further the company’s presence on the West Coast. It also opened a new Culinary Innovation Center in Wichita, Kan., to develop the latest food creations for Cargill’s customers. Cargill’s Prairie Grove Farms label added three products with no added nitrite/nitrates: Natural Uncured Hickory Smoked bacon, Natural Pork Loin Back Ribs and Natural St. Louis Style Ribs.
In another busy year of acquisitions for Smithfield Foods Inc. (#4), the processor acquired the refrigerated meats operations of ConAgra Foods Inc. and the European meats business of Sara Lee Foods. It also announced the acquisition of Premium Standard Farms (#24). That acquisition was finalized on May 7 of this year.
A tumultuous year for Swift & Co. (#5) saw immigration raids take place on several of its facilities in December of 2006; staffing levels at its beef-processing plants didn’t return to normal until May of this year. In January of this year, the company announced it had engaged JPMorgan to assist in the review of strategic and financial alternatives, in the wake of several unsolicited inquiries. A merger, acquisition, partnership, refinancing or public equity offering were all to be reviewed. Meanwhile, the company sold its non-fed cattle business to XL Foods and signed an agreement with Environmental Power Corp. to build a renewable gas facility at its Grand Island, Neb., beef-processing plant.
Along with the acquisition of Gold Kist Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride (#7) introduced EatWellStayHealthy Kids Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets and Breaded Popcorn Chicken, both of which were certified by the American Heart Association with its “heart check-mark” seal of approval. The company also received awards from several customers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Brinker International, SYSCO and Heinz. It opened a $70 million expansion at its Live Oak, Fla., facility to process air-chilled chicken and added a $30 million expansion to its Guntersville, Ala., plant to add retail packaging capacity.
OSI Group LLC (#10) acquired Amick Farms LLC, located in Batesburg-Leesville, S.C., as well as the Brazillian processor Agro Frango.
National Beef Packing Co. LLC (#12) acquired the Brawley Beef processing facility in Brawley, Calif., on June 1, 2006. It also acquired Los Angeles-based Vintage Foods Limited Partnership, which includes the Vintage™ Natural Beef brand.
Perdue Farms Inc. (#13) opened a Wellness Center at its facility in Accomac, Va. — its 15th such center — helping its employees get quality and affordable health care. The company’s Health Improvement Program, designed to target preventable health issues among its employees, was recognized with a 2006 Secretary’s Innovation in Prevention Award from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Butterball LLC (#19T) was formed when Carolina Turkeys acquired the Butterball brand from ConAgra in October, 2006. The acquisition created the largest processor of turkey products in the United States.
Wayne Farms LLC (#19T) opened Innovation Central, a food laboratory combining culinary expertise and food science with research and development capabilities. The lab will help customers develop and test new ideas and recipes for success, according to the company.
In January 2006, Seaboard Foods (#23) began marketing and selling products from a new plant in St. Joseph, Mo., owned and operated by Triumph Foods. Including Seaboard’s plant in Guymon, Okla., the company sells products from the two newest and most modern pork-processing facilities in the country.
Coleman Natural Products LLC (#31) was formed from the merger of BC Natural Foods LLC and KDSB Holdings LLC., forming the largest processor, marketer and distributor of fresh and further-prepared natural and organic proteins in the United States. Among the company’s latest products are all-natural sliced deli meats.
Kenosha Beef International Ltd. (#38) continued to emphasize national distribution of its new hamburgers under the NASCAR and Disney brands. The company also expanded its Columbus, Ohio, plant’s cooked product capabilities to meet customer and consumer demands.
In July 2006, Advance Food Co. Inc. (# 39) acquired Quik-to-Fix Foods from Smithfield, including two facilities in Texas. Quik-to-Fix’s product line include value-added, fully cooked and ready-to-cook beef, pork and poultry products under the Quik-to-Fix®, Chomps™, HealthFULLS, Philly Freedom™ and Gorges® brand names.
Along with adding breaded and par-fried lines to its capabilities, Quantum Foods LLC (#42) introduced a line of branded steaks under the Quantum Steakhouse™ name. The line of frozen steaks capitalizes on Quantum’s 15 years of steak-processing experience in the foodservice industry and includes Beef Ribeye, Filet of Sirloin, T-Bone and Beef Strip Steaks.
Lopez Foods Inc.’s (#43) latest addition is Campos Foods, a joint venture with Advance Food Co. in Caryville, Tenn. The plant helped Lopez expand its fully cooked capacity.
American Foodservice (#49) started a new individually quick-frozen (IQF) hamburger patty line in its Thomasville, Ga., plant. Two IQF lines now run at the plant, which was built in 2005.
West Liberty Foods (#53) announced a sales and marketing alliance with turkey cooperative Norbest Inc. Ed Garrett, president and CEO of West Liberty, said the alliance, “will improve the capacity of both our companies, which will allow us to enhance our ability to provide excellent products and services to all of our collective customers.” The company also broke ground on a new manufacturing facility in Tremonton, Utah.
Poultry processor Case Foods Inc. (#55) added two new feed mills to its operations.
Bob Evans Farms Inc. (#56) broke ground on a 65,000-square-foot expansion of its Springfield, Ohio, distribution center. Sales continued to build for its microwaveable slow-roaster dinners, including turkey breast, pork roast and beef pot roast.
Harris Ranch Beef Co. (#67) introduced Premium Natural Angus Beef, available as fresh boxed beef, ground beef chubs and IQF hamburger patties. The products are hormone-free and antibiotic-free and are from Angus cattle that were given an all-vegetarian, corn-based diet.
Cooper Farms (#68) implemented a controlled-atmosphere stunning system at its turkey slaughtering and deboning facility in St. Henry, Ohio. The system, installed in November, resulted in more humane conditions for its turkeys, better turkey-handling ergonomics for its employees, and drastically less blood in the turkey meat.
Farmers Pride Inc. (#72) introduced a number of new products, including gluten-free nuggets, gluten-free tenders, fully cooked buffalo-style wings, fully cooked honey barbecue wings and chicken pot pie.
Along with a $3.5 million plant upgrade, Kayem Foods (#T75) also introduced Kayem Old Tyme Beef Franks and two all-natural sausages under the al fresco line, a Wild Blueberry Chicken Breakfast Sausage and a Buffalo-Style Chicken Sausage.
Siméus Foods International Inc. (#86T) recapitalized its business, and it also added a kettle line to its Forest City, N.C., facility.
Sioux-Preme Packing Co. (#95T) installed a new carbon dioxide stunning system at its pork harvest operation in Sioux Center, Iowa. The controlled-atmosphere stunning system, which was installed in late January 2007, brought about better product as well as a more humane handling for the hogs.
Chicago Meat Authority (#109T) introduced a number of new products to new and different markets, and it also improved packaging on its products to increase ease of handling and shelf life.
In addition to a new fabrication and distribution facility and home office in Waverly, Neb., MBA Poultry (#111) added a number of new products for both Vegetable Grain-Fed and Organic product lines. Among them were four chicken sausage flavor profiles (Smoky Cheddar, Polish, Maple Breakfast and Spicy Country Breakfast), Pulled Smart Chicken with BBQ Sauce and IQF Whole Wings.
Leidys Inc. (#114) introduced a Nature’s Traditions antibiotic-free pork product line.
Chiappetti Lamb and Veal (#124) moved its corporate office to Mokena, Ill., and expanded its Emerald Street plant in Chicago.
If your company would like to be contacted for next year’s Top 125 Report, please contact Sam Gazdziak at (678) 445-1789, or e-mail
Name of Company Revenue in
Segment (millions)
1Tyson Foods Inc.$11,776$25,600 1
2Swift & Co.$7,293$9,3505
3National Beef Packing Co. LLC.+$4,000+$4,00012
4Smithfield Foods Inc.$2,807$11,403.64
5American Foods Group LLC$1,620$1,80016
6Kenosha Beef International Ltd.$496$50138
7United Food Group LLC$430$43047
8American Foodservice$392$40049
9Sam Kane Beef Processors$380$38050
10Lopez Foods Inc.$349.5$46643
11Quantum Foods LLC$288$48042
12Stampede Meat Inc.$206.3$27557
13Caviness Beef Packers Ltd.$195$19569
14Hormel Foods Corp.$156.3$5,2108
15Meyer Natural Angus$130$13085T
16Holten Meat Inc.$102.4$107.794
17Fairbank Reconstriction Corp.$90.8$90.8105
18Custom Food Products Inc.$79.8$14580
19West Liberty Foods LLC$75.6$31553
20Vienna Beef Ltd.$70$10098T
21John Soules Foods Inc.$67.5$13581T
22Murry’s Inc.$51$17071
23Dietz & Watson Inc.+$50+$25059
24Vincent Giordano Corp.$47.5$50119T
25Chicago Meat Authority$36.8$75109T
26Cambridge Packing Co. Inc.$36.0$58117
27Abbyland Foods Inc.$31.3$12586T
28Michael’s Finer Meats Inc.$31.2$78108
29Kayem Foods Inc.$30$15075T
30Manda Packing Co. LLC$21.2$47122
31Alferfer Inc.$18.5$34.2125
32Peer Foods Group$15$10098T
33Fresh Mark Inc.$14.5$48241
34Willow Brook Foods Inc.$11.8$23560T
35Superior Farms$2.1$20766
36Strauss Veal & Lamb International Inc.$0.7$13284
Note: Market segment rankings include only those Top 125 companies that submitted segment sales information.

Name of Company Revenue in
Segment (millions)
1Tyson Foods Inc.$7,936$25,600 1
2Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.$7,259$7,4007
3Perdue Farms Inc.$3,026$3,40013
4Wayne Farms LLC$1,200$1,20019T
5Foster Poultry Farms$1,138$1,80016T
6Sanderson Farms Inc.$985.1$1,04822
7Mountaire Farms Inc.$809.3$809.325
8Simmons Prepared Foods Inc.$515$51535
9Allen Family Foods Inc.$352$35252
10Townsends Inc.$296.0$36151
11Case Foods Inc.$293$29355
12Cagle’s Inc.$235$23560T
13Gold’n Plump Poultry Inc.$220$22062T
14Farmers Pride Inc.$165$16572
15Harrison Poultry Inc.$135$13581T
16Murry’s Inc.$102$17071
17Fresh Mark Inc.$72.3$48241
18John Soules Foods Inc.$67.5$13581T
19MBA Poultry$66.5$70111
20Quantum Foods LLC$57.6$48042
21Willow Brook Foods Inc.$47$23560T
22Kayem Foods Inc.$45$15075T
23Maple Leaf Farms Inc.$32.2$16173
24Custom Food Products Inc.$29$14580
25Stampede Meat Inc.$27.5$27557
26Dietz & Watson Inc.+$25$25059
27Cambridge Packing Co. Inc.$10.4$58117
28West Liberty Foods LLC$9.5$31553
29Hatfield Quality Meats Inc.$5.1$51036
30Michael’s Finer Meats Inc.$3.9$78108
Note: Market segment rankings include only those Top 125 companies that submitted segment sales information.

Name of Company Revenue in
Segment (millions)
1Smithfield Foods Inc. $6,386 $11,403.6 3
2Tyson Foods Inc.$3,072$25,6001
3Hormel Foods Corp.$2,918$5,2108
4Swift & Co.$2,057$9,3505
5Seaboard Foods$1,002.7$1,002.723
6Premium Standard Farms$893$89324
7Indiana Packers Corp.$625$62530
8Hatfield Quality Meats Inc.$504.9$51036
9Fresh Mark Inc.$395.2$48241
10Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage Inc.$180$18070
11Lopez Foods Inc.$116.5$46643
12Sioux-Preme Packing Co.$105$10595
13Dietz & Watson Inc.+$100+$25059
14Peer Foods Group$80$10098T
15Kayem Foods Inc.$75$15075T
16West Liberty Foods LLC$66.2$31553
17Leidys Inc.$65$65114
18Abbyland Foods Inc.$62.5$12586T
19Chicago Meat Authority$36.8$75109T
20Custom Food Products Inc.$29$14580
21Stempede Meat Inc.$27.5$27557
22Quantum Foods LLC$24$48042
23Willow Brook Foods Inc.$23.5$23560T
24Manda Packing Co. LLC$21.2$47122
25Murry’s Inc.$17$17071
26Alderfer Inc.$13.3$34.2125
27Michael’s Finer Meats Inc.$11.7$78108
28American Foodservice$8$40049
29Holten Meat Inc.$5.4$107.794
30Kenosha Beef International Ltd.$5$50138
31Cambridge Packing Co. Inc.$2.9$58117
Note: Market segment rankings include only those Top 125 companies that submitted segment sales information.

Name of Company Revenue in
Segment (millions)
1Butterball LLC$1,200$1,200 19T
2Hormel Foods Corp.$1,146$5,2108
3Perdue Farms Inc.$374$3,40013
4Foster Poultry Farms$286.2$1,80016T
5West Liberty Foods LLC$157.5$31553
6Willow Brook Foods Inc.$141$23560T
7Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.$140.6$7,4007
8Maple Leaf Farms Inc.$128.8$16173
9Dietz & Watson Inc.+$75+$25059
10Quantum Foods LLC$14.4$48042
11Stampede Meat Inc.$13.8$27557
12Smithfield Foods Inc.$11.4$11,403.64
13Custom Food Products Inc.$7.3$14580
14Peer Foods Group$5$10098T
15Manda Packing Co. LLC$4.7$47122
16Michael’s Finer Meats Inc.$3.9$78108
17Vincent Giordano Corp.$2.5$50119T
18Alderfer Inc.$2.4$34.2125
19Cambridge Packing Co. Inc.$1.2$58117

Name of Company Revenue in
Segment (millions)
1Superior Farms$205$207 66
2Mountain States Rosen$150$15075T
3Strauss Veal & Lamb International Inc.$131.3$13284
4Marcho Farms Inc.$100$10098T
5Chiappetti Lamb and Veal$39$39124
6Swift & Co.$9.4$9,3755
7Michael’s Finer Meats Inc.$3.9$78108
8Cambridge Packing Co. Inc.$2.9$58117
9Chicago Meat Authority$1.5$75109T
Note: Market segment rankings include only those Top 125 companies that submitted segment sales information.

Name of Company Revenue in
Segment (millions)
1ConAgra Foods Inc.$11,579$11,579 3
2Smithfield Foods Inc.$5,702$11,403.64
3Tyson Foods Inc.$2,816$25,6001
4Hormel Foods Corp.$989.9$5,2108
5Foster Poultry Farms$376.2$1,80016T
6Simmons Prepared Foods Inc.$190.6$51535
7American Foods Group LLC$180$1,80016T
8Bridgford Foods Corp.$134.3$134.383
9Siméus Foods International Inc.$125$12586T
10Quantum Foods LLC$96$48042
11Townsends Inc.$65.0$36151
12Sanderson Farms Inc.$62.9$1,04822
13United Food Group LLC$51.6$43047
14Abbyland Foods Inc.$31.3$12586T
15Willow Brook Foods Inc.$11.8$23560T
16Vienna Beef Ltd.$10$10098T
17Michael’s Finer Meats Inc.$3.9$78108
18MBA Poultry$3.5$70111
19Cambridge Packing Co. Inc.$2.3$58117
Note: Market segment rankings include only those Top 125 companies that submitted segment sales information.

Name of Company Revenue in
Segment (millions)
1Tyson Foods Inc.$2,816$25,600 1
2Swift & Co.$748$9,3505
3Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.$464$7,4007
4Butterball LLC$264$1,20019T
5Hormel Foods Corp.$208.4$5,2108
6Simmons Prepared Foods Inc.$185.4$51535
7Wayne Farms LLC$180$1,20019T
8Perdue Farms Inc.$170$3,40013
9Indiana Packers Corp.$125$62530
10Mountaire Farms Inc.$105.2$809.325
11Townsends Inc.$72.2$36151
12Foster Poultry Farms$36$1,80016T
13Harrison Poultry Inc.$27$13581T
14Case Foods Inc.$29.3$29355
15Fresh Mark Inc.$24.1$48241
16Cagle’s Inc.$23.5$23560T
17Willow Brook Foods Inc.$23.5$23560T
18Sioux-Preme Packing Co.$21$10595T
19Cooper Farms$15$20068
20Mountain States Rosen$15$15075T
21Abbyland Foods Inc.$12.5$12586T
22Allen Family Foods Inc.$10.6$35252
23Hatfield Quality Meats Inc.$10.2$51036
24Caviness Beef Packers Ltd.$9.8$19569
25West Liberty Foods LLC$9.5$31553
26Leidys Inc.$6.5$65114
27Dietz & Watson Inc.+$5+$25059
28Kenosha Beef International Ltd.$5$50138
29Superior Farms$4.1$20766
30John Soules Foods Inc.$4$13581T
31Meyer Natural Angus$3.9$13085T
32Chicago Meat Authority$3.8$75109T
33Sam Kane Beef Processors$3.8$38050
34Siméus Foods International Inc.$3.8$12586T
35Farmers Pride Inc.$1.7$16572
36Custom Food Products Inc.$1.5$14580
37Kayem Foods Inc.$1.5$15075T
38Vienna Beef Ltd.$1$10098T
39Marcho Farms Inc.$1$10098T
40Strauss Veal & Lamb International Inc.$0.7$13284
Note: Market segment rankings include only those Top 125 companies that submitted segment sales information.