The Food Institute Blog

The Food Institute Blog

More Than Just Chicken Feed
Posted on February 04, 2015 by John Dunham

The American poultry industry is a $470 billion mega-industry employing over 1.814 million people and generating $32.9 billion in government revenue.  We know this because we just completed an economic impact study of the industry and its components. Of this, the chicken industry provides 1,339,900 jobs, the turkey industry provides 308,400 jobs, and the egg industry provides 128,000 jobs.

The poultry industry experienced tremendous productivity growth during the past two years, something which has been mirrored across the entire American food production and processing industry.  The food industry has helped the economy grow, while at the same time benefitting both workers and consumers.

Economic analysis like this one, are an excellent way of communicating an industry’s importance. This helps government officials, the media and consumers better understand how an industry works, and where products are produced.  They also give industries a tool to help with marketing, contracting, government affairs, even transportation planning.  Companies use them to identify potential new customers and suppliers, to better understand competitor’s operations, and to help plan their own production processes.

In the competitive economy that all food processors work in, even small changes matter and it is incumbent on firms or trade associations to take advantage of all of the tools at their disposal. 


About the Author

Chief Economist
The Food Institute

John is the President of John Dunham & Associates. John specializes in the economics of how public policy issues affect products and services. He has conducted hundreds of studies on taxes and regulation. He is a regular commentator on U.S. economic conditions. His research has been published in a number of refereed journals including Economic Inquiry.

Prior to starting his own firm, John was the senior U.S. economist with Philip Morris, producing research and information on key issues facing all of the company’s divisions. Before this, John was a senior economist for the New York City Mayor’s Office, the New York City Comptroller’s Office, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey where he conducted the economic impact analysis of the World Trade Center.

John received his M.A. in economics from the New School for Social Research and his MBA from Columbia University. He is a member of the American Economics Association and the National Association of Business Economists.


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