Smart Chicken
SPRINGDALE, Ark.  Tyson Foods Inc. has announced its acquisition of Tecumseh Poultry LLC. The purchase includes Tecumseh’s air-chilled Smart Chicken brand and makes Tyson one of the nation’s leading producers of organic branded chicken. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Tyson also produces organic products under its NatureRaised Farms and Aidells brands.

“Consumers want choices. More and more consumers want options for fresh, organic food that fits their lifestyles,” said Eric Schwartz, chief marketing officer of Poultry for Tyson Foods. “The Smart Chicken brand is a leader in this key organic category, and the category’s growth makes this acquisition a strategic fit for Tyson Foods.”

Founded in 1998, Tecumseh produces fresh chicken, air-chilled chicken, deli-style chicken and a variety of chicken sausage. Air-chilling uses cold air to cool chicken during processing rather than the industry standard water-chilling.

The company’s operations include two plants located in Tecumseh and Waverly, Nebraska, as well as live operations. Tyson Foods currently plans to operate Tecumseh Poultry as a wholly owned subsidiary and expects its approximately 600 team members to retain their positions. 

Smart Chicken
“This is a well-run company with a solid customer base that’s earned consumer loyalty,” said Doug Ramsey, group president of Poultry for Tyson. “We’re excited for Tecumseh to continue to produce quality chicken while providing the business the scale and resources it needs to continue growing.”

Tecumseh Poultry’s focus on quality and processing capabilities have given the Smart Chicken brand a leading position in the organic segment, the fastest-growing US category of fresh chicken.

 “We’ve spent 18 years working to perfect our ability to produce the highest-quality, fresh chicken in the US. We’re very proud of that, and it’s not going to change,” said Kevin Siebert, president of Tecumseh. “Tyson Foods brings to the Smart Chicken brand and the rest of our product lines the resources to make us even stronger.”