Tyson Foods prepared foods
Tyson Foods continues to have strong results with protein products in retail. 

NANTUCKET, Mass. – Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc. told investors at the Jefferies 2016 Global Consumers Conference that Tyson is selling more branded, protein-centric foods and executing well.

Tom Hayes, president of Tyson Foods 

“We’re investing in our retail packaged brands, and we’re seeing the payoff,” said Tom Hayes, who was promoted to president of the company last week. “Weekly sales data show that volumes in key categories are gaining momentum.” Hayes cited Ball Park hot dogs, Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage and Hillshire Farm dinner sausage as examples.

Hayes went on to note the company’s chicken segment has provided higher and more stable margins and is performing better in recent years.

“We’ve fundamentally changed how we operate our chicken business,” said Noel White, president of Tyson’s poultry division. “First, we optimized our cost structure. We’ve taken more than $1 billion in inefficiencies out of the business since 2009.”

White explained Tyson’s utilization of a broad range of customer pricing agreements that minimize grain input cost volatility. The company also upgraded its product mix to contain more branded, value-added items to create a “Buy vs. Grow” strategy of production and de-commoditized the business significantly.

“We strive to continually earn the trust of our customers that we will deliver for them, that we will innovate for them and that we will help them grow their businesses,” White added.