Peco Foods is a family-owned Tuscaloosa-based poultry producer and processor which employs about 7,000 people plants in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi. It is the 8th largest producer in the United States.
The company processes, packages and labels chicken products for a variety of retail and food-service labels, and also offers bulk products to secondary processors in the US and overseas.
The company was founded by J. Herman Hickman as a hatchery and feed mill in Gordo in 1937. During the 1940s, Hickman expanded his operation by recruiting other farmers to buy chicks and feed, and then supplying frying chickens to the Harris Poultry and Egg Co. in Tuscaloosa. Hickman's sons, Herman and Jerome joined the business later that decade, operating as Hickman Farms with a network of producers' associations in Pickens County and elsewhere.
Hickman Farms merged with the Harris Poultry and Egg Co. under the PECO brand in 1968. They opened a new modern processing plant in Tuscaloosa in 1970. The company expanded with acquisitions in Mississippi in the 1990s and Townsends Poultry of Arkansas in the 2010s.
- Rebman, Stephanie (January 20, 2021) "Peco Foods restructuring, closing Mississippi plants." Birmingham Business Journal
- Peco Foods website