Meat+Poultry - June 2018 - 66
S M A L L B U S I N E S S M AT T E R S
Kunzler & Co. traces its
roots back more than a century
and business is still booming
in the original location
BY S T E V E K RU T | m e a t p o u l t r y @ s o s l a n d.c o m
MEAT+ POULTRY | 06.18 | www.meatpoultry.com
"We still use the original recipe for hot
dogs, but now offer more than 50 versions to
satisfy the demands of our customers and the
10 companies we co-pack for. Meanwhile, new
flavor variations have been added to hams,
luncheon meats and bacons. Regional products
like Pennsylvania Dutch scrapple and Lebanon
bologna have remained the same."
When it comes to hot dogs, the 350,000-sq.ft. Lancaster plant produces over 40 million
lbs. annually at that three-level facility and has
the capability to reset flavors, sizes and even
package counts in less than 45 minutes.
Most meat processors in downtown
locations have an uphill struggle with
everything from regulatory agencies to
neighbors who bristle over truck traffic.
Indeed, Kunzler sends out about 50
delivery trucks a day, but relations with the
neighborhood couldn't be better.
Years ago, the late Chris Kunzler Jr.
invested in major sidewalk reconstruction
around the block-size plant. Before brows
could furrow, he delivered hams to every
Photos: Kunzler & Co. Inc.
Kunzler & Co. produces
more than 40 million lbs.
of hot dogs annually.
hen German butcher Christian
Kunzler opened his meat business
in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in
1901, he couldn't have imagined what would
become of the company 117 years and four
Great grandson Chris Kunzler III believes
the founder would be astounded to know that
the company, still located on the original site in
the city's downtown, would have grown to 600
employees and sell its products in 25 states.
Chris, 58, the company CEO and president
of Kunzler & Co. Inc., suggests the concept of
employing non-production workers would have
been hard for him to grasp.
"A pig is much the same as it was back then,
and the same with cattle," he notes, "but it
takes an extended team effort to know how to
best present that same protein to generations
with changing needs and preferences over such
a long time. The chicken industry has done
a much better job over the past 20 years in
presenting their product in greater varieties and
formats than other proteins.