Keystone Foods started out as a small beef-boning business in the 1960s. After a few years, the company began converting its business from beef-boning to manufacturing. By utilizing cryogenic technology, the company’s products were preserved for storage in its frozen state, keeping its quality preserved for an extended period of time. The cryogenic technology became of great value to the food service industry, which was also rapidly growing at the time.
In the 1970s, Equity Meat Corporation was founded, primarily due to the success of frozen hamburger and its rapidly increasing demand. In fact in 1970, the United States produced a total of 1.5 million pounds of hamburger. Two years after, the United States was already producing 50 million pounds of hamburger every year.
In 1974, Keystone Foods acquired M&M Restaurant Supply. The company also introduced its concept of “Total Distribution.” In this concept, a restaurant receives its deliveries from only one truck. From dry goods to refrigerated and frozen ones, they would all be delivered by one truck and in one trip that the restaurant can easily schedule. With this system, the restaurants were able to concentrate on better customer service, as well as reduce their overall costs.
By the 1980s, Keystone created its Research and Development Division. In the same decade, the company launched the first chicken nugget product. Keystone also starts its international expansion by entering into the markets of Malaysia and France. The company opened McKey Food Services near the South of Paris. This company was engaged in the production of hamburgers for distribution to quick service restaurants in France, Morocco and Belgium. In Malaysia, Keystone founded MacFood Services to produce beef, poultry and fish products to quick service restaurants in the country, as well as in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Keystone’s international expansion continued in the 1990s with the addition of distribution centers in Europe and Korea, and manufacturing facilities in Thailand, China and Australia. In 1995, Keystone started to produce fish portions under LD Foods for distribution to quick service restaurants in Eastern United States. In the later part of the decade, the company expanded its poultry business in the country and at the same time expanded its manufacturing facility in Korea to include protein products.
By 2008, Keystone continued with its expansion by acquiring a distribution center in New Zealand. Currently, Keystone Foods is a recognized leader worldwide in the area of food manufacturing for the foodservice industry.
Headquarters: West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania
Ownership Type: Private
No. of Employees: 3,753
Geography: USA, Europe, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Australia
Demography: quick-service restaurants worldwide