Simmons Foods

Founded in 1949 in Siloam Springs, Simmons Foods is one of the state's largest private companies, employing more than 6,000 and reporting 2010 revenue of $1 billion.

Led by chairman Mark Simmons, the company experienced 12.8 percent growth in 2009 to reach the billion-dollar mark.

Simmons is a producer of frozen poultry, processed poultry and pet food. Simmons Foods has a network of roughly 300 growers in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, and employs roughly 3,900 workers at its 15 northwest Arkansas locations alone.

Simmons distinguishes itself in the market by working almost exclusively in the business-to-business realm. It claims that distinction makes it the only player without a company brand agenda. Simmons uses in-house brand strategists for each label with no brand priority.

In addition, Simmons is known for its commitment to conservation. Its Southwest City, Mo., plant is one of the most water-conserving facilities in the industry, and Simmons’ management participates in the Illinois River Watershed Partnership.

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