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 40 distribution and processing centers located throughout the world. A major supplier to McDonald's, Keystone serves about 36,000 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 29 facilities in six countries in North America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. 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.
Keystone reports approximate sales of $2.5 billion worldwide. The company contributed 29% of parent Marfrig's revenue in 2013. While Keystone's sales in Asia took a hit in 2013 due to the effects from reported cases of avian influenza, its US business continued to grow (up 11% year over year), supported by a more diversified client base.
To grow in the US market Keystone is focusing on diversifying its client portfolio in the food service segment. In Asia and the Middle East, the company's growth strategy is focused on forging partnerships and joint ventures to drive growth in key markets, such as China and Indonesia. At the global level, Keystone is also focusing its efforts on growing and diversifying its presence in the beef market by improving its supply chain through greater integration with sister company Marfrig Beef. Another area of focus in 2014 is the poultry business, with plans to expand processing capacity in the US and Asia.
The Asian market and fast-food giant McDonald's are both important to 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 2010 for $1.2 billion.