Tyson Foods Inc. president and chief executive officer Tom Hayes this week said Tyson is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for protein.
Speaking at the 2018 Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference, Hayes and members of Tyson's enterprise leadership team shared with investors that the company is delivering on its strategy and driving growth across its portfolio of protein – from its Chicken, Beef and Pork segments to Prepared Foods.
“Tyson Foods is transforming from a company with a strong heritage in chicken to a modern food company that is challenging the industry status quo,” Hayes said. “Consumers expect more from food companies today, and we’re up for the challenge. We’re combining our size and scale with agility to make food people want to eat. That’s driving our business and helping us deliver top-tier returns for shareholders.”
Strong operating cash flows, a prudent capital allocation strategy and the financial flexibility to make strategic acquisitions position Tyson to achieve long-term profitable growth, the company said. Notably, the Prepared Foods segment has seen significant growth, with operating margins more than tripling over the last four years.
To continue growing Prepared Foods and driving growth across the entire business, Tyson shared the bold actions it is taking in three key areas:
1. Modernizing its $1 billion brands
Tyson is focused on innovating and brand building to keep its multiple billion-dollar brands that are already customer favorites contemporary and relevant.
With its Jimmy Dean brand, Tyson said it is launching Egg’wiches in May, a new line of frozen breakfast sandwiches without the bread, plus new egg white scrambles to build on the success of Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles Breakfast Cups, which were the best-performing new single-serve breakfast item at retail last year.
The Hillshire Farm brand will be launching a line of premium, carved, all-natural meats for snacking, salads and wraps in the lunch meat section this spring, along with a new master brand campaign built around the idea that when you enjoy food that’s crafted with care, you’re closer to the farm than you think.
The Tyson brand will be launching a new consumer brand identity that is simple and modern yet still easily recognizable to consumers and grounded in the heritage of the company’s flagship brand.
2. Creating tomorrow’s iconic brands and businesses
Tyson said it is also employing a start-up mindset and moving faster than ever on new products and partnerships.
The company announced an exclusive partnership with Tajin, one of Mexico’s most authentic and recognized spice brands. Tyson said it will leverage its protein know-how, culinary capability and brand-building expertise with Tajin through a portfolio of new products, including Tajin spiced meatballs, smoked sausage with mango and boneless chicken bites.
3. Changing the game with new growth models
In order to move beyond traditional categories, challenge conventional ways of thinking and work in the consumer packaged goods space, Tyson said it is launching a new brand this year called Green Street, in line with consumer demand for ready-to-eat meals. Its first foray will be protein-rich grab-and-go bowls that are 100% plant-based.
Additionally, the company is making strategic investments through Tyson Ventures by backing talented entrepreneurs who are pioneering breakthroughs in food and food-focused technologies. Its initial investments included Beyond Meat, Memphis Meats and Tovala.
Last, the company recently launched the Tyson Innovation Lab, which is about exploring new approaches to accelerate the pace of innovation. The lab brings together a lean team of designers, chefs, scientists and supply chain experts in a dedicated space at the company’s Chicago, Ill., office and gives them six months to go from an idea to an in-market solution.
For the first product launch, they are finding opportunity in wasted food. By utilizing what goes unused in the food supply chain as ingredients, they are developing a line of protein snacks branded “YAPPAH.”