Sally Grimes
Sally Grimes outlined the strategy behind Tyson's Yappah and Greent Street new product launches at CAGNY, held in February.

Waste not

New growth models highlighted during the presentation included a plant-based protein snack line and a new product created from food waste. 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 supermarket 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.”

Green Street products will feature such ingredients as quinoa, lentils and chickpeas in chef-inspired flavors, Grimes said.

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.

“Between the spent grains and the pulp we asked ‘what can we do with this?’” Grimes said. “We wanted to add our own protein, so we added chicken, and came up with an idea around a new snack.”

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.

Hatching new businesses

As consumers and markets evolve, Tyson is committed to keeping up, as evidenced by a partnership it announced about one week prior to the CAGNY event. On Feb. 15, the company announced an agreement to work with Plug and Play and 1871, two business incubators that will give Tyson a direct connection with business startups.

Silicon Valley-based Plug and Play is a global innovation platform that connects startups to corporations around the country. 1871, based in Chicago, is the home of nearly 500 early-stage, high-growth digital startups.

“Our collaboration with Plug and Play and 1871 are examples of how we are adopting new growth models to innovate faster than consumers and markets are changing,” Grimes said. “By partnering with these organizations and combining Tyson Foods’ resources, capabilities and team members with the energy and innovation coming out of Silicon Valley and Chicago, we can have a positive impact on the industry and the food system.”

By working alongside Plug and Play and 1871, Tyson hopes to “fuel new discoveries in food and find new solutions to meet business needs,” according to the company.

“Working with Tyson Foods means that we can create greater collaboration opportunities for food startups with an emphasis around solutions that have a positive impact on our food system,” said Michael Olmstead, chief revenue officer of Plug and Play. “The Tyson Foods team brings depth and breadth of experience that entrepreneurs will value, and together they will look toward solving for the future of food.”

1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman added, “Our corporate partners play a major role in supporting 1871’s mission to serve Chicago’s entrepreneurs and elevate its economy. We look forward to working with Tyson Foods to foster greater innovation within Chicago’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This partnership speaks highly to its ongoing commitment to drive real growth and encourage new thinking.”