When I visited Poland last November at the invite of Meat from Europe to tour some of their beef and pork plants, one observation I heard often from owners was that the money in meat today lies in case-ready products, which are consumer-friendly cuts packaged and shipped to stores in retail containers. Conversely, there is very little profit in harvesting and processing primal cuts (due to a number of European economic and environmental factors) unless you catered to a specialty market, like halal meat. 

Here in the States, the same profit potential is true for retail-ready meat, but on a much, much larger scale than Poland. Case-ready meats—which are simply opened, seasoned if necessary and cooked—are big business and continue to grow year-over-year due to consumer convenience demands, and also a labor shortage behind the meat counter of many grocery stores.

Companies like Tyson are at the forefront of the case-ready revolution, and, with a clear vision toward the future, recently opened a 600,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art case-ready beef and pork facility in Eagle Mountain, Utah. The Eagle Mountain plant is likely the most technologically advanced case-ready meat facility in the world, and our cover story takes a closer look at all the innovations inside the building.

Tyson’s $300 million Eagle Mountain plant was also our Tier 2 winner (overall investment between $150 million and $349 million) in our annual Plant of the Year contest. Much more to come in 2022 as we announce more Plant of the Year winners, so stay tuned!