Speaking at the 2018 Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference on February 21, Tyson Foods President and CEO Tom Hayes told investors that the Springdale, Arkansas-headquartered company is well positioned to meet the rising global demand for protein ranging from chicken, beef and pork to prepared foods. Furthermore, frozen products will continue to play an important role in satisfying appetites.
“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,” stated Hayes. “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 Foods to achieve long-term profitable growth, he said. Notably, the company’s Prepared Foods segment has seen significant growth, with operating margins more than tripling over the last four years.
In continuing to grow the Prepared Foods segment and drive growth across the entire business, Hayes shared actions being taken by Tyson to modernize three $1 billion brands:
Jimmy Dean: 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 on the US retail market last year.
Hillshire Farm: Introducing a line of premium carved all-natural meats for snacking, salads and wraps in the lunchmeat section this spring, along with a new master brand campaign.
Tyson: Debuting 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.
Meanwhile, Tyson Foods is employing a start-up mindset and moving faster on new products and partnerships.
The company announced an exclusive partnership with Tajin, a spice maker in Mexico. Tyson will leverage its protein know-how, culinary capability and brand building expertise with the company through a portfolio of new products including Tajin-spiced meatballs, smoked sausage with mango and boneless chicken bites.
New Growth Models
Tyson Foods is moving beyond traditional categories and challenging conventional ways of thinking and working in the consumer packaged goods space.
This year, the company is launching a new brand 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.
On another front, it is making strategic investments through Tyson Ventures, backing talented entrepreneurs who are pioneering breakthroughs in food and food-focused technologies. Its initial investments included Beyond Meat, Memphis Meats and Tovala.
The company launched its Tyson Innovation Lab, which is about exploring new approaches to accelerate the pace of innovation. The laboratory brings together a team of designers, chefs, scientists and supply chain experts in a dedicated space in Chicago 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. Utilizing what goes unused in the food supply chain as ingredients, they are developing a line of protein snacks branded “YAPPAH.”