Excess capacity in meatpacking industry was eliminated after 2015

Bar chart showing capacity of U.S. meatpacking plants from 2005 to 2020.

The meatpacking industry is highly concentrated, with large plants and few firms. Larger plants reduce processing costs and wholesale meat prices, but having fewer firms allows packers to reduce prices paid for livestock. Those tradeoffs—efficiency versus market power—have reemerged in policy debates.

Download larger size chart (2048 pixels by 1704, 144 dpi)