Beef is just one of the cornerstones of this food company. Keystone Foods is one of the largest makers of hamburger patties and processed poultry; it operates more than 55 distribution and processing centers located throughout the world. A major supplier to McDonald's, Keystone serves about 28,000 restaurants in a dozen countries with hamburgers, chicken wings, breast fillets, and chicken patties, as well as fish and pork products. Keystone also provides new product development services to its customers, as well as custom distribution and logistics services. The company, which began as a beef-boning business in the 1960s, is owned by Latin America's #2 beef producer Marfrig Alimentos.
Pennsylvania-based Keystone Foods has 58 facilities in about a dozen countries in North America, Europe. Asia, and Latin America, and in Australia. The company serves about 2,600 restaurants in China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
Keystone-Chinwhiz is the company's joint venture (60% owned by Keystone) in China that aims to build a chicken production platform in the Chinese market. It processes some 200,000 birds/day, about half of Keystone's needs in the country. A second joint venture in China with COFCO (45% owned by Keystone) is focused on food logistics and distribution services there.
Marfrig reported that Keystone Foods delivered solid performance in 2012, driven primarily by stronger sales of processed food products to the food service segment in Asia (mainly China), where it serves major global fast-food chains. Partnerships formed in China in 2011 in the areas of production integration and distribution contributed significantly to strengthening Keystone's presence there. Through its participation in two joint ventures, Keystone has increased its local client base to more than 2,600 restaurants in the Asian market, which is one of the main drivers of global demand for protein. Indeed, in China alone Keystone had sales of almost $400 million in 2012.
The Asian market and fast-food giant McDonald's are both areas of focus for Keystone Foods. Indeed, McDonald's accounts for approximately 70% of Keystone's business in the US. Beyond the Golden Arches, Keystone is growing its business with other clients, such as YUM! Brands, KFC, Campbell's, Subway, Chipotle, Wendy's, Burger King, and others. The company believes the Asian market (and China in particular) holds enormous growth potential.
To better focus its efforts and resources on the production and marketing of higher value processed products, in April 2012, Marfrig sold Keystone Foods' specialized logistics assets to the Martin-Brower Company for $400 million.
Marfrig acquired Keystone Foods in mid-2010 for $1.2 billion.