Tyson taking a crack at breakfast
by Monica Watrous
SPRINGDALE, ARK. – Tyson Foods, Inc. is eyeing a.m. eating as its next growth opportunity.
“We study consumers’ needs and behaviors, and we have identified opportunities to grow retail value-added sales beyond center-of-the-plate chicken,” said Donnie Smith, president and chief executive officer, during a Nov. 18 earnings call with analysts. “Breakfast emerged as a high-potential category.”
Tyson recently added breakfast sausage under its Wright Brand of bacon products, but as the company continues to expand into prepared foods, it has identified frozen handheld products as a key category.
“At nearly $1 billion in annual sales, it is a large category that grew more than 20% over the last year,” Mr. Smith said. “Consumers told us they think a good breakfast should include protein, and Tyson is the brand they trust to deliver high-quality protein. Forty-eight per cent of consumers who buy frozen breakfast items also buy Tyson frozen value-added chicken. So we have a base of familiarity and positive perceptions as we enter this new era.”
Under a new Tyson Day Starts brand, the company will launch seven products, including biscuit sandwiches, flatbreads and wrapped omelets. Shipping is scheduled to begin in January.
“Day Starts is a great example of our push for innovation, as we set a goal to have 20% of our domestic poultry and prepared food sales coming from new product innovation,” Mr. Smith said. “We define that as something that we have developed within the past three years. And in 2013, we exceeded our goal, with 21.5% of our sales resulting from innovation.”
Tyson also announced plans to enter the smoked dinner meats category, as part of a push to expand its highly value-added offerings across channels.
“We will stay focused on our strategy, investing in growth and setting ourselves up for a great 2015 and beyond,” Mr. Smith said.