Smithfield Food's is focusing on branding its packaged foods to help boost earnings by becoming less dependent on its hog farming operations, which has been volatile in the past years due to high feed prices.
The world's largest pork processor and hog producer plans to end its fiscal year in April by adding about 100 new pig meat products. Packaged meats account for 46 percent of the company’s sales and by focusing on the consumers’ desire for convenience and health, Smithfield Foods is updating and adding new brands and products.
In 2008 and 2009, Smithfield Foods and the U.S. pig industry’s profits sharply diminished from high corn prices and a glut of hogs. Smithfield Food's shares slid 11 percent in 2012 and dropped 22 percent since 2007.
Smithfield Foods pledged in 2007 that sows would no longer be confined to gestation crates. The hog producer is spending approximately $300 million to move sows to group housing by 2017 for its worldwide hog operations. Smithfield Foods raises 16 million hogs per year.