Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation’s three customer categories

Adam Jones - Author

Dec. 3 2014, Updated 4:00 p.m. ET

National and international reach

Pilgrim’s Pride uses its distribution channel to reach its customers nationally as well as internationally. The company also uses its parent’s, JBS USA’s, network of sales. According to the company, this relationship has helped it access international markets in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

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Pilgrim’s customer base is spread across 100 countries, including the US and Mexico, which together contributed ~92% of the company’s revenues as of 2013 year-end.

The company has over 5000+ customers, and no one customer accounts for more than 7% of its revenues, except Walmart (WMT), which contributed 9.7% of the sales as of 2013 year end.

The company has the following three categories of customers:

  • Foodservice players
  • Retail players
  • Distributors


Foodservice players include Yum! Brands (YUM), Burger King (BKW), and Popeye’s (PLKI). The company supplies prepared chicken, which includes marinated chicken, chicken strips, grill-marked chicken, as well as fully cooked chicken.

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Retail players

Retail players include supermarkets, discount retail clubs, as well as delis such as Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST), and Safeway (SWY). Besides these big names, the company also reaches independent grocers through its distributors. Products include fresh, frozen, and fully cooked products such as chicken wings and chicken sliders.


Pilgrim’s Pride works with distributors like Sysco, which is also the parent of US Foods. Distributors help bridge the gap between large food producers such as Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC), Tyson Foods (TSN), and commercial food preparation establishments such as restaurants. To put this in perspective, Sysco alone has about 425,000 customers.

JBS USA owns 75.5% of the company. However, this was a result of Pilgrim’s Pride having filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008. Let’s next look at the reasons behind the bankruptcy.


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