Organizations no longer compete as independent entities, but as chains (Christopher 1998; Cox 1999; Lambert and Cooper 2000), and these organizations more and more realize the performance potential of chains (Pearson and Samali 2005; Gellynck, Vermeire and Viaene 2006). Being part of a well‐performing chain generates important performance benefits for the individual organization (Zhenxin, Hong and Edwin 2001). As a result, there is increasing interest in the performance of chains as a research subject (Beamon 1998). A vast group of authors (Neely, Mills, Platts, Gregory and Richards 1994; Neely, Gregory and Platts 1995; Beamon 1998; Christopher 1998; Beamon 1999; Li and O'Brien 1999; Van der Vorst 2000; Gunasekaran, Patel and Tirtiroglu 2001; Lambert and Pohlen 2001; Gunasekaran, Patel and McGaughey 2004; Van Der Vorst 2006) endorses the need to address the measurement of chain performance. Nonetheless, previous studies investigating chain performance have considered multiple individual chains, but rather compared groups of chain members. Some notable exceptions of such analysis are Spekman et al. (1998), Lu et al. (2006) or Clare et al. (2002). Second, with regard to measuring performance of chains active in the agri‐business sector or in the traditional food  sector in particular, (Aramyan 2007) notes a number of challenges. First, this type of firm does not typically gauge their performance in a standardized way that allows comparison (Collins, Henchion and Reilly 2001), implying the collection of secondary data from these firms are highly challenging. Further, chains belonging to different sectors may have different characteristics such as chain length, closeness of chain relationships and types of process links (Lambert and Cooper 2000) possibly influencing their performance. Consequently, chain performance measurement being carried out in other sectors might reveal differences as compared to performance measurement of traditional food chains. Therefore, traditional food as a potential focus of chain performance measurement cannot remain neglected.