May 20, 2004


US Tyson Foods Top In Chicken Production


Tyson Foods holds the top spot in chicken production and market share again this year, based upon statistics compiled by poultry industry sources.


These statistics are part of an annual feature that appears in a May issue of Poultry Times.


Tyson averages production of 158 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken each week. This amount gives the company a 24.2 percent market share in U.S. chicken production.


Tyson increased its production by roughly 9 percent compared to 2003 figures and increased its market share by 1.5 percent. The company has a plant in Cumming.


Ten years ago, the company also held the top spot, but with an average weekly production of 84 million pounds.

Second on the production ranking list is Pilgrim's Pride, with a weekly production of 102 million pounds and a 15.6 percent market share.


Pilgrim's rose from its third place ranking last year largely due to its purchase of ConAgra Poultry, including the plant on Queen City Parkway in Gainesville, which ranked fourth last year.


In 1994, Pilgrim's ranked fifth with weekly production of 24 million pounds.


Third on this year's list is Gold Kist, with 60 million pounds of chicken produced and a 9.1 percent market share. This is the same ranking the company held in 1994, but with 40 million pounds of production.


Locally, Wayne Farms ranks fifth this year with 30 million pounds and a 4.6 percent market share. The company, with corporate offices in Oakwood and several local plants, ranked sixth last year, the same position it held in 1994.


Habersham County-based Fieldale Farms is tied for 11th place with 12 million pounds of chicken produced each week and a 1.8 percent market share. Ten years ago, the company ranked 12th with 10 million pounds.


Mar-Jac, based in Gainesville, is tied for 18th place with 4.5 million pounds and a 0.7 percent market share. Last year, the company produced 5 million pounds per week and had a 0.8 percent market share.


Harrison Poultry ranks 20th with 3.5 million pounds of chicken produced each week and a 0.5 percent market share. The company is based in Barrow County.


The rankings are based upon production figures from 41 U.S. poultry companies that account for 652.3 million pounds of chicken each week. Over the course of a year, the production totals 33.9 billion pounds.

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