KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Every two years, MEAT+POULTRY sponsors a US Processor Confidence Study. Designed to take the pulse of the industry, the study gathers data on company revenue and confidence, international sales, industry economic outlook, gross margins, operations and capital investing from thought leaders in the meat and poultry industry.

Cypress Research, a Kansas City, Missouri-based firm, conducted this year’s survey in May and June. The sampling of 9,265 meat and poultry executives from upper- and mid-level management job positions produced 252 completed online industry surveys.

Companies were categorized based on gross annual sales for fiscal year 2017. Companies with less than $50 million in annual sales totaled 900; 33 companies reported annual sales of $50 million to $99 million; 55 companies reported annual sales of $100 million to $499 million; and 74 companies had annual sales of $500 million or more.

Results of the 2018 M+P Processor Confidence Study show an uptick in confidence, further proof the industry is shaking off the Great Recession’s lingering effects and in the face of more recent political volatility. The recession, which officially ended in 2009, has long been held responsible for ongoing economic pressures, but the industry is showing optimism and moving forward.

For example, in 2009, 80 percent of those surveyed cited difficult economic conditions. A decade later, nearly 90 percent of US meat and poultry processors offer a positive economic outlook, a 38 percent increase from the 2016 study. This year, 60 percent of respondents plan to embark on major new capital projects, representing an average of 9 percent in company revenue. This is significant when contrasted with 2009 data showing capital budgets decreasing year-on-year by an average of almost 7 percent.

“If we look back to MEAT+POULTRY’s 2009 Capital Investing Study, economic pressure was still the single external influence that most impacted general capital spending plans that year, a bigger determinant of spending than food safety or high-input costs,” said Marjorie Hellmer, president of Cypress Research. “More specifically, tough economic conditions were affecting capital equipment decisions for almost 80 percent of industry leaders in 2009.”

Look for the October issue of MEAT+POULTRY magazine to read more about processor confidence for 2018.