DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. – Beef Products Inc. and its subsidiaries have re-emerged with new leadership and a new corporate name. Family members have assumed executive management responsibility for the BPI companies, and those companies will now be known as empirical foods, empirical technology and empirical innovations.
Nick Roth, the son of BPI founders Eldon and Regina Roth, will serve as president of empirical innovations inc. and empirical technology inc.
“Mom and Dad built these remarkably successful companies through their hard work, determination, and the help of many other team members,” he said. “We are excited to have the opportunity to continue in their footsteps and expand upon the creativity that has always been a hallmark of our companies.”
Additionally, son-in-law Craig Letch will serve as president of empirical foods inc., and Jennifer Letch, the Roth’s daughter, will serve as an executive officer in each of the empirical companies.
“Nick, Jennifer, and Craig have been part of our senior management team for more than ten years and we have every confidence that they will lead the companies to new heights in the very near future,” Eldon and Regina Roth said in a joint statement. “Their commitment to and passion for this industry and our community is both refreshing and reassuring.”
Nick Roth and Jennifer and Craig Letch have been active in the business over the last decade. The company is known for its lean ground beef which became the subject of controversy following ABC News coverage of the company’s lean finely textured beef (LFTB). Attorneys for Eldon and Regina Roth, owners of BPI, claimed that ABC News defamed the company’s product in news reports and social media posts. As a result of the reports BPI’s business suffered financially, and it was forced to close three processing plants in three states.
The company sought more than $1 billion in damages for defamation, product and food disparagement and tortious interference with business relationships. But on June 28, 2017, BPI and ABC News agreed to settle the case. Details of the settlement amount were not disclosed.
In December 2018, the US Dept. of Agriculture said it would reclassify LFTB as ground beef. But empirical is looking to diversify its product portfolio.
“While we are probably best known for our lean ground beef, we are also producing fully cooked taco meats, eggs, Bolognese/pasta sauce, as well as a line of fresh portioned cuts of beef and pork, and plan to further diversify by bringing consumers new fully cooked meal options in the future,” Craig Letch said.
Jennifer Letch said the new corporate name reflects the family’s core principles of communication, cooperation, and innovation.