Meat Products Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 3,442 meat manufacturing facilities in the US slaughter, process, and package meat protein products; principally beef, pork, and poultry. Meat manufacturing operations are comprised of three main processes: animal slaughtering, meat processing and packing, and rendering non-edible waste into useable byproducts. Larger manufacturers may engage in all of these activities, while smaller manufacturers may have much more limited or specialized operations.

Increasing Regulation

Meat product manufacturers are subject to extensive federal, state, and local laws and regulations by authorities that oversee slaughtering and processing, packaging, storage, distribution, advertising, labeling, food safety standards, and export of meat products.

Growth In Demand For Healthier Meats

Health-conscious consumers are increasingly demanding meats from animals raised without antibiotics or hormones and those fed specialized organic feed.

Industry size & Structure

The average meat products manufacturer employs 160 workers and generates $96 million in annual revenue.

    • There are 3,442 federally inspected meat and poultry slaughtering and processing plants in the US, employing about 548,000 people and generating annual revenue of $267 billion.
    • In beef and pork processing, the top 8 companies, including Cargill, Tyson Foods, JBS, and Smithfield Foods, control 63% of revenue.
    • In poultry processing, the top 8 companies, including Pilgrim's Pride, Tyson Foods, Perdue, Sanderson Farms, and Koch Foods, control 54% of revenue.
    • The US is the world's largest producer of poultry meat, representing 17% of world production.
    • One of the largest slaughterhouses in the world is operated by the Smithfield Packing Company in Tar Heel, North Carolina, and can butcher about 35,000 hogs a day.
    • The top livestock and poultry slaughtering US states are: Cattle - Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas; Hogs and pigs - Iowa, Minnesota, and North Carolina; Chicken - Georgia, Arkansas, and Alabama; and Turkey - Minnesota, North Carolina, and Arkansas.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Meat Products Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Jun 23, 2024 - Wages Climb to New High
                                  • According to the US Census Bureau, wholesale prices of meat products are rising this year despite declining food industry sales and falling shipments of meat, poultry, and seafood products. The producer price index for meat product manufacturers, which measures prices before reaching consumers, rose 5.6% in April compared to a year ago after falling by 7% in the previous annual comparison, according to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Meanwhile, industry employment ticked up 0.6% in April year over year and average wages at meat products manufacturers climbed 4% over the same period to $21.88 per hour, a new high for the industry, BLS data show.
                                  • Consumers in five European countries prioritize animal welfare above environmental sustainability when buying meat and dairy products, according to a recent article in Dairy Reporter (DR). More than 3,000 consumers in the UK, Czechia, Sweden, Spain, and Switzerland were asked to rank 18 product attributes in order of importance as drivers of meat and dairy purchases. The top product attributes for meat were freshness, quality/taste, and animal welfare, with sustainability-related claims such as organic, carbon footprint, and food miles ranking lower on consumers’ lists. Organic ranked last on shoppers’ lists for both meat and dairy products. However, in the US, an analysis by NielsenIQ and McKinsey of five years of US consumer spending data found consumers shifting spending toward products with sustainable claims in two-thirds of food categories, according to DR.
                                  • Labor and environmental practices at meat and poultry processing plants are under a “regulatory microscope,” Food Processing reports. Following the discovery of more than 100 underage workers in 13 plants owned by nine companies in 2023, the Department of Labor and the USDA are working to root out illegal child labor. The underage workers were employed illegally by a third-party contract sanitation service used by many of the big meat companies, according to FP. Several processing companies have been found to be in violation of child labor laws. In February, another third-party contract sanitation company was being investigated by the DOL for child labor violations. Meanwhile, the EPA has proposed new effluent guidelines for processing plants that some critics say don’t go far enough. The American Association of Meat Processors is concerned new guidelines could force small operators to spend millions on wastewater treatment equipment or cease operations.
                                  • The Florida House has approved a wide-ranging bill that would ban the sale of cultivated meat. The bill, which awaits consideration by the governor, would make the sale or manufacture of lab-grown meat a second-degree misdemeanor. It’s one of a half-dozen similar measures introduced in Arizona, Tennessee, West Virginia, and elsewhere so far this year. Lab-grown meat (aka cultivated meat) is grown from cells taken from an animal and does not require slaughtering. While the USDA approved cultivated meat production for the first time in the US in 2023, it’s expected to be many years before lab-grown meat appears on dinner tables, according to NYT. While beef and poultry associations oppose lab-grown meat because of its potential to eat into sales, some meat companies have partnered with cultivated-meat startups to help meet global demand for protein, NYT reports.
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