Tyson Innovation Lab launches ¡Yappah! brand to fight food waste

First product is crafted from rescued and upcycled chicken breast trim, vegetable and grain-based ingredients.

May 31, 2018

4 Min Read
Tyson Innovation Lab launches ¡Yappah! brand to fight food waste

Tyson Innovation Lab, the Tyson Foods Inc. team tasked with bringing new consumer products to market in just six months, has launched ¡Yappah! — its first brand. The brand debuted May 31 with a campaign on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform, and it challenges consumers to rethink snacks for good.

The brand name was inspired by a tradition in the South American Andes called “yapa,” which refers to the little something extra a merchant gives a valued customer so nothing gets wasted.

“The ¡Yappah! brand mission is unique, important and far-reaching,” said Rizal Hamdallah, head of Tyson Innovation Lab. “The brand was created to inspire people and partners to rethink their relationship to food and how it impacts society. Through this launch, we intend to address global food challenges such as food waste.”

According to the Tyson team, statistics behind the wasted food challenge are overwhelming. In the U.S. alone, nearly one-third of all food used in food production ends up as waste, according to the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization. The average person wastes 3.5 lb. of food per week, and uneaten food equates to Americans throwing out as much as $218 billion each year, most of which ends up rotting in landfills, where it emits harmful greenhouse gases.

Given the scale of the food waste problem, Tyson Innovation Lab sought partnerships with like-minded food companies. The first product under the ¡Yappah! brand, Protein Crisps, is crafted from rescued and upcycled vegetable and grain-based ingredients that might otherwise be left behind.

Tyson Foods provides upcycled chicken breast trim that is still full of flavor and protein and combines it with either rescued vegetable puree from juicing or rescued Molson Coors spent grain from beer brewing to create the line's four flavors.

“We could not have developed the Protein Crisps without the enthusiastic collaboration of partners like Molson Coors,” Hamdallah said. “We will continue to seek out other great partners, large and small, who have resources and goals that complement our own.”

David Durkee, senior director of research and development and innovation for Molson Coors said, "This collaboration is consistent with our sustainable brewing priorities to address waste. There is great potential to upcycle our spent grains into amazing products, and this is a key area of development for our innovation team."

The ¡Yappah! brand is designed to be an umbrella under which future products and product categories will be launched that help address major social and sustainability challenges related to food.

Hamdallah said Protein Crisps take “forgotten” ingredients and craft them into a delicious protein snack. “For the ¡Yappah! brand, sustainability is not an add-on; it's our DNA. Fighting food waste is just the beginning."

Crafted by a chef

In January 2018, Tyson Innovation Lab was challenged to rethink the culinary possibilities for ingredients that are typically left unused during food production and often become food waste.

“We wanted to be ingredient driven in order to create a flavorful snack that people would absolutely love,” said Kang Kuan, executive chef at Tyson Innovation Lab.

Kang is no stranger to innovation, having built his culinary career at such original and nationally acclaimed restaurants as French Laundry and Morimoto.

“I was thrilled by the opportunity to source 'forgotten' ingredients and compose them into something more flavor nuanced and protein filled than typical snack foods,” Kang said. “People might not realize that vegetable pulp left behind during juicing is arguably better and richer tasting than the juice itself, and spent grain is surprisingly delicious. So, we had these amazing flavors to work with. The result is a crispy snack that comes in four culinary-driven flavors that will appeal to all food lovers.”

Go-to-market approach

Testing, evaluating and iterating is integral to the Tyson Innovation Lab approach. As such, Tyson Innovation Lab launched ¡Yappah! Protein Crisps on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform in May and will follow it with a 90-day pilot at one Chicago, Ill.-based supermarket in July.

“We think a chef-composed snack is a groundbreaking idea but are cognizant that products fighting food waste are in their nascent stages,” said Santiago Proaño, brand lead for Tyson Innovation Lab. “Indiegogo is a great channel for testing since consumers on the platform are known for being early adopters of new-to-the-world ideas and products. We want to connect directly with this enthusiastic community that cares about creating better food. Their reaction to the product and their engagement with us will help us get ready for what we hope will be a much broader rollout.”

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