The ten largest turkey producers in the United States collectively slaughtered nearly 5.9 billion pounds of live turkeys in the United States in 2019, according to information gathered for the WATTAgNet Top Companies Database.
Of those companies, two had an annual slaughter capacity that exceeded 1.2 million pounds.
As a whole, the U.S. turkey industry reduced production in 2019, as the 21 largest turkey producers slaughtered 7.16 billion pounds – a 2.7% decrease when compared to the slaughter figures of 2018.
Of the top 10 companies, five increased production, two decreased production, and three kept production steady when compared to the previous year.
Here is a list of the ten largest turkey companies in the United States.
Headquartered in Garner, North Carolina, Butterball is the largest turkey company in the U.S. It slaughtered 1.304 billion pounds in 2019, a year-over-year decrease of 2.03%. The company – owned by Seaboard Corp. and Goldsboro Milling Co. – operates processing plants in North Carolina, Arkansas, Illinois and Missouri. It has more than 7,300 employees.
A subsidiary of Hormel Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store is the second largest turkey company in the United States. It slaughtered 1.23 billion pounds of turkeys in 2019 – the same amount it slaughtered in 2018. Headquartered in Willmar, Minnesota, the company operates four slaughter plants and seven processing plants.
Third-ranked Cargill Protein, held its production steady in 2019, slaughtering 950 million pounds of turkey. Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Cargill Protein’s turkey operations include locations in Virginia, Minnesota, Arkansas, Nebraska, Texas and Missouri. Its key brands are Honeysuckle White, Shady Brook Farms, Honest Turkey, Carter Reserve and Castlewood Reserve.
Family-owned Farbest Foods slaughtered 608 million pounds in 2109, a 4.24% decrease from 2018. Headquartered in Huntingburg, Indiana, the company operates two slaughter plants and two processing plants.
Tyson Foods slaughtered 368 million pounds of live turkeys in 2019. It has one slaughter plant and one processing plant. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, Tyson Foods is also the largest broiler company in the United States and the second-largest poultry producer in the world.
The Kraft Heinz Company, a diversified food company, slaughtered 340 pounds of live turkeys in 2019. It operates one slaughter plant and one processing plant. The company’s meat brands include Oscar Mayer and Lunchables.
Perdue Foods increased its turkey production numbers in 2019, slaughtering 294 million pounds. Headquartered in Salisbury, Maryland, Perdue is also the fourth largest broiler company in the United States.
Oakwood, Ohio-based Cooper Farms slaughtered 286 million pounds of turkeys in 2019, a 7.92% increase when compared to 2018. It also ranks as the 20th largest egg company in the United States.
A vertically-integrated turkey company formed in 2004, Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative, headquartered in Hinton, Virginia, slaughtered 273 million pounds of live turkeys in 2019, an increase of 1.87%.
Also a vertically-integrated cooperative, Michigan Turkey Growers – formed in 1998 – slaughtered 232 million pounds of live turkeys in 2019 – an increase of 9.43%. It is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan.