“We play across beef, pork, chicken, of course,” said Thomas P. Hayes, president and CEO, during the company’s presentation. “We are also playing across plant-based protein. You've seen a lot of that, and I’m sure there’s going to be some questions about it. But we are openly disrupting ourselves to continue to drive to the next level of improvement and next level of advantage for us and our shareholders.”
“Prepared Foods is over an $8 billion value-added food business, growing volume double digits and expanding operating income percentage,” she said. “Just four years ago, this was a $3.3 billion business with 3 percent margin that generated about 7 percent of Tyson’s EBIT. Today, it’s over 25 percent of total Tyson EBIT. So Prepared Foods is helping transform total Tyson through the stability and higher-margin profile of this brand-centered, value-added business.”
Innovation on tap from the company’s largest brands include Jimmy Dean Eggwiches, which Grimes called Tyson’s “breadless breakfast platform.”
The company also will be adding a morning snack to the Jimmy Dean line this year.
“(These are) hard-boiled eggs, natural cheese and Jimmy Dean meats,” Grimes said. “They require no prep, and they deliver over 50 grams of protein.”
Businesses under Tyson’s “creating tomorrow’s iconic brands” tier include Aidells sausage, Hillshire Snacking and Golden Island meat snacks. Grimes said Hillshire Snacking generated $100 million in sales at retail and the company will introduce an “upscale fondue experience” under the banner in 2018.
“Now a key reason that Hillshire Snacking has been so successful is that it offers an experience beyond what you'd expect from a snack,” she said.
Green Street is the plant-based protein snack brand that will be introduced by the company later this year. It features grab-and-go bowls that will be merchandised in the fresh deli department.
“We felt like this was an opportunity from a portfolio strategy perspective,” Grimes said in a follow-up interview. “We already have a nice presence in deli meats and rotisserie chicken, and sometimes a salad does not do it for a consumer.”
Grimes also unveiled Yappah during the presentation.
“Now this is a term that originated in the Andes,” she said. “It means that little something that a merchant may give away at the farmers market to use up the day’s inventory so nothing goes to waste. And, so, our first launch, we’re using what goes unused in the food supply chain, and with those as ingredients, developing a line of protein snacks.”
The core ingredients in Yappah will be pulp that goes unused by fruit juicing operations and spent grains from beer processing and chicken.
The company will be launching the new product on the crowdfund website Indiegogo, get feedback and then do a more formal launch later this year.