The CEO of Brazil-based multi-protein company JBS says it sees chicken as the company’s best option to tap into emerging markets and their growing demand for animal protein.

Wesley Batista, the company’s CEO, told Bloomberg that there are fewer religious and cultural barriers that keep consumers from eating poultry than other proteins produced by the company like beef and pork. It is also easier for a company to meet the demand because of a shorter growth cycle and the amount of land it requires to produce chicken.

“Beef production has a very small elasticity,” Batista said. “Because of the costs and the amount of land it requires, I don’t see a huge increase in supply, and consequently, in production.”


Recent business moves from JBS have reflected the company’s confidence in poultry. Within the last two years, the company has purchased Seara, an acquisition that made JBS the second-largest poultry producer in Brazil, according to the WATT Global Media Top Companies Database. JBS is also the parent company of Pilgrim’s, the second largest broiler company in the United States, which also has operations in Mexico.

JBS also has agreed to purchase Tyson Foods’ Brazilian and Mexican operations and Brazilian chicken company Big Frango.