Tyson Foods has announced plans to build new production plants in China and Thailand, and expand its facility in the Netherlands while launching the Raised & Rooted plant-based protein range in Europe. This is the first extension of the faux meat brand beyond the United States. Earlier this year the Springdale, Arkansas-headquartered company introduced 28 frozen chicken products (some of which are pictured above) under its Tyson flagship brand in the European foodservice market, which includes restaurants, cafeterias and catering operations. The assortment ranges from coated, battered, skewered, raw and fried items.
The latest production expansion plans, adding over 100,000 metric tons of fully cooked poultry capacity, build Tyson’s goal to become the world leader in protein by serving emerging markets and strategic customers.
“Global population and income growth will continue to drive an increased need for protein,” said Dean Banks, president and chief executive officer of Tyson Foods. “These investments allow us to increase our in-country operations and global export capabilities, helping us bring more safe, high-quality protein for consumers in these countries as well as for customers in other parts of the world.”
The expansions are expected to create many direct and indirect jobs as production starts in local communities. The new plant in China will likely create more than 700 jobs and the European expansion will add more than 150 jobs. Thailand’s new plant, part of a long-standing joint venture with GFPT Public Company Limited, is expected to provide employment for more than 1,000 people.
“We have been aggressively building our overseas presence servicing foodservice and expanding into retail with innovative products,” said Tyson Foods International President Chris Langholz.
“Our team recently launched the Tyson brand into key markets including in European foodservice and in Thailand retail through e-commerce. We invested in e-commerce platforms in Malaysia and Australia to meet consumer demand as Covid-19 accelerates e-commerce food delivery across the globe. The marketplace is changing, and we’re changing with it. We’ll continue to enhance our ability to serve growing global demand for value-added protein.”
Tyson’s recent acquisitions and joint ventures have expanded the company’s international footprint in China and India to include Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, the Netherlands and Brazil, giving the company access to demand through in-country production, as well as exports to many global markets. In FY19, the company generated $5.4 billion in international sales, which included US export sales.
Raised & Rooted Brand Enters European Market
“We’re thrilled to be launching Raised & Rooted in Europe, where there is a growing number of consumers who are adopting flexible diets,” said Brett Van de Bovenkamp, president of Vienna, Austria-headquartered Tyson Foods Europe. “Our unique capabilities in R&D and innovation, combined with our international footprint and infrastructure makes us uniquely positioned to be a European market leader in alternative protein.”
The European Raised & Rooted range, which includes five varieties of plant-based products, will be introduced through foodservice customers across the continent. Major foodservice and retail operators have already embraced the alternative protein segment, which is estimated to be a multi-billion-dollar category and continues to grow.
“Our Raised & Rooted brand has seen rapid growth since launching in the US last year,” said Justin Whitmore, executive vice president of alternative protein at Tyson Foods. “The plant-based nuggets and tenders are now sold in 10,000 stores and online, and we look forward to our continued growth. Our expertise in this category, paired with our European innovation centers, positions us well to serve global markets. We are leveraging Tyson’s deep capabilities to make plant-based protein more accessible and affordable for more people around the world.”
Van de Bovenkamp added: “Our focus has been on taste and texture, and we’re confident our alternative protein products meet consumer expectations. We’re experts in the protein industry and have innovation centers to help us produce great tasting plant-based products on the market.” The plant-based products, which are produced in the Netherlands with locally sourced premium ingredients, are non-GMO, non-palm oil, egg-free and contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The multilingual packaging for the products contains a total of eight languages, addressing the language and labeling needs of customers. Packaging features a recyclable 60 percent bio-based plastic material.
Raised & Rooted products include plant-based Nuggets and Tenders in the United States and plant-based Nuggets, Fries, Popcorn and Tortilla Nachos in Europe. Descriptions of the offerings in Europe, all of which contain no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and are devoid of soy and palm oil, follow:
Light & Crispy Battered Nuggets
These little bites bring a vegetarian twist to a family favorite. Featuring fava bean and pea protein in a crispy golden batter, each piece is pre-fried, cooked and frozen to keep its taste and texture. The product is ideal as an appetizer, served with any sauce, as nibbles at a party, or as a child-friendly vegetarian option.
Crunchy Breaded Nuggets
Made of fava bean protein and coated in crunchy golden breadcrumbs, these nuggets are pre-fried, cooked and frozen to maintain taste and texture. They are promoted as “great on a kids’ lunchtime menu with chips or as an appetizer with a choice of sauces.”
Garlic & Herb Dipping Fries
A tasty alternative to traditional fries, packed with the power of plant protein, each piece is made with fava bean protein and coated in crunchy golden batter. They’re pre-fried, cooked and frozen, ready to serve on snack menus with dipping sauces for a treat at any time. They can also be offered as a vegetarian side with any main meal.
Hot & Spicy Popcorn
These little crispy fava bean-based protein bites are pre-fried, cooked and frozen for convenience and presented as “perfect to serve as a basket snack alongside drinks.”
Extra Crunchy Tortilla Nachos
Operators are encouraged to add a bit more bite to their menu with these crunchy treats. Each little triangle is made from fava bean protein and covered in a crisp tortilla coating, then pre-fried, cooked and frozen. Serve them as you would traditional nachos, with a spicy salsa, or make more of a meal with a scattering of grated cheese and chilies.