Koch Foods Inc.

David Tadevosian | shutterstock.com
David Tadevosian | shutterstock.com

8. Koch Foods Inc.: 624,000,000 head slaughtered annually in 2018

Koch Foods Inc., based in Park Ridge, Illinois, was founded in 1985 as a one-room chicken deboning and cutting operation with 13 employees. Since then, it’s grown to be one of the largest vertically integrated poultry processing companies in the country with 13,000 employees and operations in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee. In 2017, Koch announced a pair of expansion plans for its operations in Alabama.

Koch Foods produced 50 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2018, the same amount as 2017. Its 2018 sales were $3.3 billion, the same amount as 2017. Koch Foods sales break out 55 percent foodservice, 15 percent retail, 15 percent institution and 15 percent export. Product forms are 75 percent frozen and 25 percent fresh. Company brands are Koch Poultry, Antioch Farms, Cravers, Rogers Royal, Mr. Bennies and numerous private labels.

In January 2018, the company announced it was completely renovating its hatchery in Henagar, Alabama. The renovated hatchery was expected to have a weekly setting capacity of more than 3.7 million eggs. In April 2018, Koch Foods General Manager Brian Reisen told local media in Fairfield, Ohio, that Koch was working to grow from a $3.4 billion company to a $5 billion company.

In August 2018, local media in Gadsden, Alabama, reported the company was adding a fourth processing line to its local poultry processing plant which was expected to increase capacity by about 30 percent. The City of Gadsden said the additions will be valued at $80 million. In August 2018, Koch Foods agreed to a $3.75 million settlement in a discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of 11 workers at the Koch Foods poultry plant in Morton, Mississippi. 

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