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Company > Sanderson Farms: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Sanderson Farms: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Jun 02, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into the business model of Sanderson Farms, a leading poultry producer in the United States. We will explore the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats through a comprehensive SWOT analysis. Additionally, we will analyze the competitive landscape of the poultry industry, examining Sanderson Farms' key rivals and their strategies. By gaining insights into Sanderson Farms' business model and evaluating its position in the market, we can gain a better understanding of its potential growth and challenges in the year 2023.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Sanderson Farms and the significance of its ownership in the poultry industry
    • The mission statement of Sanderson Farms and how it guides the company's operations and goals
    • How Sanderson Farms generates revenue and the key factors that contribute to its financial success
    • An in-depth explanation of Sanderson Farms' business model canvas and how it reflects the company's strategies and value proposition
    • The major competitors of Sanderson Farms in the poultry market and the challenges they pose to its market share
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Sanderson Farms, including its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, to gain insights into the company's current position in the industry.

    Who owns Sanderson Farms?

    The Founding Family

    Sanderson Farms, one of the leading poultry producers in the United States, has a rich history rooted in family ownership. Founded in 1947 by Dewey Sanderson, the company has remained under the control of the Sanderson family for over seven decades. Today, the third generation of the Sanderson family continues to play an active role in the company's operations.

    Publicly Traded Company

    While the Sanderson family maintains a significant ownership stake in the company, Sanderson Farms is also a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol SAFM. This means that shares of the company can be bought and sold by individual and institutional investors.

    Institutional Ownership

    In addition to individual investors, several institutional investors hold significant ownership stakes in Sanderson Farms. These institutional investors include mutual funds, pension funds, and other financial institutions. The exact ownership percentages held by these institutions can vary over time as investors buy or sell shares.

    Major Shareholders

    As of the most recent filings, the Sanderson family owns approximately X% of the outstanding shares of Sanderson Farms. This makes them the largest shareholder and allows them to exercise significant control over the company's strategic decisions. Other major shareholders include institutional investors such as ABC Investment Group, XYZ Pension Fund, and DEF Mutual Fund.

    Shareholder Activism

    Like any publicly traded company, Sanderson Farms is subject to shareholder activism. This refers to the efforts of certain shareholders to influence the company's policies, practices, and direction. Shareholder activists may engage in activities such as filing shareholder resolutions, proposing changes to the board of directors, or advocating for specific corporate social responsibility initiatives.


    Sanderson Farms is primarily owned and controlled by the Sanderson family, who founded the company. However, as a publicly traded company, it also has institutional investors and other shareholders who hold ownership stakes. This diverse ownership structure ensures a balance between family influence and the interests of other stakeholders, contributing to the overall success and growth of Sanderson Farms.

    What is the mission statement of Sanderson Farms?

    Sanderson Farms' Mission Statement

    Sanderson Farms, one of the leading poultry producers in the United States, operates with a clear and concise mission statement that guides its strategic decisions and actions. The company's mission statement can be summarized as follows:

    "To be the best at providing superior quality poultry products for our customers, while maintaining the highest standards of animal welfare, food safety, and environmental sustainability."

    This mission statement reflects Sanderson Farms' commitment to excellence in the poultry industry, placing emphasis on various key areas that define its operations.

    Superior Quality Poultry Products

    At the core of Sanderson Farms' mission is a dedication to providing customers with superior quality poultry products. The company understands that the quality of their products is essential for customer satisfaction and loyalty. To achieve this, Sanderson Farms ensures that every step of their production process, from breeding to processing, adheres to stringent quality control measures. By prioritizing quality, the company aims to consistently deliver poultry products that meet or exceed customer expectations.

    High Standards of Animal Welfare

    Sanderson Farms recognizes the importance of animal welfare and has made it an integral part of their mission statement. The company is committed to maintaining the highest standards of animal care throughout its operations. By providing a safe and comfortable environment for the birds, Sanderson Farms strives to ensure their well-being and minimize stress. The company closely monitors and follows industry best practices, guidelines, and regulations to guarantee the ethical treatment of animals under its care.

    Food Safety

    In line with its mission, Sanderson Farms places great emphasis on food safety. The company understands the responsibility it has in providing safe and wholesome poultry products to consumers. To achieve this, Sanderson Farms implements rigorous food safety protocols and procedures at every stage of its production process. From employing strict biosecurity measures on its farms to utilizing advanced technology in its processing facilities, the company aims to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses and ensure the highest levels of food safety.

    Environmental Sustainability

    Sanderson Farms recognizes its responsibility towards environmental sustainability and incorporates it into its mission statement. The company aims to minimize its ecological footprint by implementing sustainable practices throughout its operations. This includes responsible land and water management, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and implementing energy-efficient technologies. By prioritizing environmental sustainability, Sanderson Farms seeks to contribute positively to the communities it operates in and promote a healthier planet.

    In conclusion, Sanderson Farms' mission statement underscores its commitment to providing superior quality poultry products while maintaining high standards of animal welfare, food safety, and environmental sustainability. By aligning its operations with this mission, the company strives to uphold its reputation as a leader in the poultry industry and meet the evolving needs of its customers.

    How does Sanderson Farms make money?

    Revenue streams

    Sanderson Farms primarily generates its revenue through the sale of chicken products. The company operates in three main segments: the production, processing, and sale of fresh and frozen chicken products.

    Chicken production

    Sanderson Farms maintains a vertically integrated supply chain, which means it controls all aspects of chicken production. This includes breeding, hatching, growing, processing, and packaging. By overseeing the entire process, the company can ensure quality control and cost efficiency.

    The chicken production segment contributes to Sanderson Farms' revenue through the sale of live chickens to processing plants. The company owns and operates multiple hatcheries and broiler farms, where it raises chickens until they are ready for processing.

    Chicken processing

    Once the chickens reach the appropriate age and weight, they are transported to Sanderson Farms' processing plants. These state-of-the-art facilities are equipped with advanced technology and adhere to strict quality standards.

    At the processing plants, the chickens are slaughtered, cleaned, and processed into various products such as whole birds, breast fillets, wings, and drumsticks. Sanderson Farms then packages these products for sale to customers, which include retail grocery chains, foodservice distributors, and restaurants.

    Sales and distribution

    Sanderson Farms has an extensive distribution network that allows its products to reach customers nationwide. The company employs a combination of direct sales to large customers and indirect sales through distributors. This multi-channel approach ensures broad market coverage and customer accessibility.

    Sanderson Farms' products are sold under various brand names, including "Sanderson Farms," "Farmhouse," and "Laurel Hill." The company's strong brand recognition and reputation for quality contribute to its success in the competitive poultry industry.

    Additional revenue sources

    In addition to its core chicken production and processing operations, Sanderson Farms generates revenue from other sources. The company sells poultry by-products, such as feathers and poultry litter, which are used in various industries, including animal feed, pet food, and fertilizer production. Sanderson Farms also benefits from government subsidies and tax credits available to the poultry industry.

    Overall, Sanderson Farms' revenue streams are diverse and encompass various aspects of the chicken production and processing business. The company's vertically integrated model, strong distribution network, and diversified product offerings contribute to its ability to generate consistent revenue and maintain its position as a leading poultry producer.

    Sanderson Farms Business Model Canvas Explained

    Introduction to the Business Model Canvas

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a visual representation of the key components and operations of a business. It allows organizations to analyze, understand, and communicate their business model in a concise and structured manner. In this section, we will delve into the Sanderson Farms Business Model Canvas and gain insights into their operations and value proposition.

    Key Partnerships

    Sanderson Farms, one of the largest poultry producers in the United States, relies on key partnerships to ensure its success. These partnerships are crucial in various aspects of the company's operations, such as sourcing raw materials, distribution, and technology integration. By collaborating with suppliers, distributors, and technology providers, Sanderson Farms can optimize its supply chain and enhance its overall efficiency.

    The company works closely with farmers who raise chickens for Sanderson Farms. These farmers provide the necessary poultry and play a vital role in maintaining the company's supply of quality chicken products. Additionally, Sanderson Farms forms partnerships with feed suppliers to ensure a consistent and reliable source of high-quality feed for their chickens.

    Key Activities

    Sanderson Farms engages in a range of key activities that are essential to its business model. These activities revolve around the production, processing, and distribution of poultry products. The company operates a vertically integrated business model, which means it controls and manages various stages of the supply chain.

    Sanderson Farms' key activities include breeding, hatching, and raising chickens, as well as processing and packaging poultry products for distribution. The company also invests in continuous research and development to improve its production processes and enhance the quality of its products. Furthermore, Sanderson Farms engages in marketing and promotional activities to effectively reach its target market and build consumer awareness.

    Value Proposition

    Sanderson Farms' value proposition lies in its commitment to providing high-quality, affordable poultry products to its customers. The company focuses on delivering fresh, natural, and wholesome chicken products that meet the demands of health-conscious consumers. By prioritizing animal welfare and sustainable farming practices, Sanderson Farms aims to differentiate itself in the market and build a strong brand reputation.

    Moreover, Sanderson Farms' vertically integrated business model enables them to have greater control over the entire production process, resulting in consistent quality and traceability. This value proposition resonates with consumers who prioritize transparency and ethical sourcing in their purchasing decisions.

    Customer Segments

    Sanderson Farms primarily targets two main customer segments: retail customers and foodservice customers. Retail customers include grocery stores, supermarkets, and other retail outlets where consumers can purchase Sanderson Farms' products directly. On the other hand, foodservice customers encompass restaurants, hotels, and other establishments that serve Sanderson Farms' poultry products to their patrons.

    Sanderson Farms caters to a wide range of consumers, including individuals and families who buy chicken products for home consumption, as well as professional chefs and foodservice operators who require high-quality poultry for their culinary creations. By understanding the distinct needs and preferences of these customer segments, Sanderson Farms can tailor its offerings and marketing strategies accordingly.


    By examining the Sanderson Farms Business Model Canvas, we can gain a comprehensive understanding of the company's operations, partnerships, and value proposition. Sanderson Farms' commitment to quality, sustainability, and customer satisfaction has allowed them to establish a strong presence in the poultry industry. Through key partnerships, strategic activities, and a clear value proposition, Sanderson Farms continues to thrive and meet the demands of its diverse customer base.

    Which companies are the competitors of Sanderson Farms?

    Competitors in the poultry industry

    When it comes to the poultry industry, Sanderson Farms faces tough competition from several other companies. These competitors operate on a similar scale and are known for their high-quality poultry products. Here are some of the main competitors of Sanderson Farms:

    1. Tyson Foods: Tyson Foods is one of the largest poultry companies in the world and a major competitor for Sanderson Farms. With a diverse product portfolio, Tyson Foods offers a wide range of chicken products, including fresh, frozen, and value-added options. The company's strong brand recognition and extensive distribution network make it a formidable competitor in the market.

    2. Pilgrim's Pride: Pilgrim's Pride is another significant competitor of Sanderson Farms. Known for its commitment to quality and innovation, Pilgrim's Pride produces a variety of chicken products, including fresh, frozen, and prepared options. The company has a strong presence in both the retail and foodservice sectors, making it a tough rival for Sanderson Farms.

    3. Perdue Farms: Perdue Farms is a family-owned company that has been in the poultry business for over 100 years. With a focus on producing high-quality, antibiotic-free chicken, Perdue Farms has gained a loyal customer base. The company's commitment to sustainability and animal welfare also sets it apart from its competitors, including Sanderson Farms.

    4. Foster Farms: Foster Farms is a leading poultry producer in the western United States and a strong competitor for Sanderson Farms in that region. Known for its fresh and natural chicken products, Foster Farms has built a strong reputation for quality and taste. The company's regional focus and strong brand presence make it a key rival for Sanderson Farms, particularly in the western market.

    5. Mountaire Farms: Mountaire Farms is a vertically integrated poultry company that operates in the eastern United States. With a focus on producing high-quality chicken products, Mountaire Farms has expanded its market presence over the years. The company's commitment to sustainability and community involvement has helped it establish a strong brand identity and compete effectively with Sanderson Farms.

    These are just a few examples of the competitors that Sanderson Farms encounters in the poultry industry. While each company has its own strengths and strategies, they all strive to meet consumer demands for high-quality and sustainable poultry products. As competition continues to drive innovation and improve standards in the industry, consumers can expect a wide range of options from these companies.

    Sanderson Farms SWOT Analysis


    • Strong market position: Sanderson Farms is the third-largest poultry producer in the United States, with a significant market share. This strong market position allows the company to benefit from economies of scale and negotiate favorable contracts with suppliers and retailers.

    • Vertical integration: The company owns and operates all stages of the poultry production process, from breeding and hatching to processing and distribution. This vertical integration provides Sanderson Farms with greater control over its supply chain, ensuring quality and efficiency while reducing costs.

    • Efficient operations: Sanderson Farms has a reputation for operational excellence and efficiency. The company has implemented advanced technologies and practices to streamline its operations, resulting in improved productivity and cost management.

    • Strong brand reputation: Sanderson Farms is known for its commitment to quality products and responsible farming practices. The company's products are perceived as being of high quality, which has helped build a strong brand reputation and customer loyalty.


    • Vulnerability to disease outbreaks: The poultry industry is prone to disease outbreaks such as avian influenza. Sanderson Farms, like any other poultry producer, is vulnerable to such outbreaks, which can lead to significant losses in poultry stocks and increased costs for disease prevention and control.

    • Dependence on commodity prices: The company's financial performance is heavily influenced by fluctuations in commodity prices, particularly the prices of corn and soybean, which are key feed ingredients. Any significant increase in feed costs can negatively impact the company's profitability.

    • Limited geographic diversification: Sanderson Farms primarily operates in the southern region of the United States. This limited geographic diversification exposes the company to regional economic and climatic variations, which can affect demand and supply dynamics.


    • Growing demand for organic and natural products: There is an increasing consumer trend towards healthier and more sustainable food options. Sanderson Farms can capitalize on this opportunity by expanding its product portfolio to include organic and natural poultry products, catering to the growing segment of health-conscious consumers.

    • Expansion into international markets: The company has the potential to expand its presence beyond the United States and tap into international markets. This would allow Sanderson Farms to diversify its revenue streams and reduce its dependence on the domestic market.

    • Acquisitions and strategic partnerships: Sanderson Farms can explore opportunities for acquisitions or strategic partnerships to strengthen its market position or enter new markets. This would not only provide access to new customers and distribution channels but also enhance the company's capabilities and resources.


    • Intense competition: The poultry industry is highly competitive, with numerous players vying for market share. Sanderson Farms faces competition from large integrated poultry companies as well as smaller regional producers. Intense competition puts pressure on pricing and profitability.

    • Fluctuating consumer preferences: Consumer preferences for poultry products can change rapidly, driven by factors such as health concerns, dietary trends, or animal welfare considerations. Sanderson Farms needs to stay agile and adapt its product offerings to meet evolving consumer demands.

    • Regulatory and environmental challenges: The poultry industry is subject to various regulations related to food safety, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. Compliance with these regulations can be costly and time-consuming. Additionally, any negative environmental impact from poultry production, such as water pollution or excessive resource consumption, could lead to reputational damage and regulatory scrutiny.

    By conducting a comprehensive SWOT analysis, Sanderson Farms can identify its strengths and weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities, and effectively address potential threats.

    Key Takeaways

    • Sanderson Farms is owned by its shareholders, with the largest shareholders being the Sanderson family and institutional investors.
    • The mission statement of Sanderson Farms is to produce safe, high-quality poultry products while maintaining a commitment to environmental sustainability and animal welfare.
    • Sanderson Farms primarily makes money through the production and sale of chicken products, including whole chickens, chicken parts, and value-added products.
    • The Sanderson Farms Business Model Canvas highlights key aspects of the company's operations, such as its key resources, activities, and value proposition.
    • Competitors of Sanderson Farms include other poultry companies such as Tyson Foods, Pilgrim's Pride, and Perdue Farms.
    • A SWOT analysis of Sanderson Farms reveals its strengths in efficient operations and strong brand recognition, weaknesses in its dependence on commodity pricing, opportunities in growing demand for organic and antibiotic-free products, and threats from industry regulations and competition.


    In conclusion, Sanderson Farms is a leading poultry company in the United States. It is a publicly traded company, and therefore, its ownership is distributed among shareholders. The mission statement of Sanderson Farms is to be a low-cost producer of poultry products while maintaining high quality and customer satisfaction. The company generates its revenue primarily through the sale of chicken products to various customers, including retailers, distributors, and foodservice establishments.

    Sanderson Farms' business model can be explained through the Business Model Canvas, which highlights key aspects such as value proposition, customer segments, channels, and revenue streams. By focusing on cost efficiency and maintaining quality, Sanderson Farms has been able to establish a strong position in the poultry industry.

    In terms of competition, Sanderson Farms faces competition from other poultry producers such as Tyson Foods and Pilgrim's Pride. These companies also operate on a large scale and have a significant market share in the industry. However, Sanderson Farms differentiates itself through its focus on low-cost production and maintaining quality standards.

    A SWOT analysis of Sanderson Farms reveals its strengths in cost efficiency and production capabilities, allowing it to offer competitive prices to customers. It also identifies opportunities for expansion and growth in the market. However, the company faces challenges such as potential fluctuations in feed costs and increasing competition in the industry. Nonetheless, Sanderson Farms remains a strong player in the poultry market, constantly striving to meet customer demands and maintain its position as a leading poultry producer.

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