Tyson Innovation Lab, the Tyson Foods, Inc. team tasked with bringing new consumer products to market in just six months, launched ¡Yappah!, its first brand. It debuted with a campaign on Indiegogo, a crowd-funding platform, and challenges consumers to re-think snacks for good. The brand name was inspired by a tradition in the South American Andes called “yapa,” which refers to the little something extra a merchant gives to a valued customer so that nothing gets wasted.
“The ¡Yappah! brand mission is unique, important and far-reaching,” said Rizal Hamdallah, Head of Tyson Innovation Lab. “The brand was created to inspire people and partners to rethink their relationship to food and how it impacts society. Through this launch, we intend to address global food challenges such as food waste.”
Tyson Innovation Lab sought like-minded partners to Fight Food Waste
Given the scale of the food waste problem, Tyson Innovation Lab sought partnerships with like-minded food companies. The first product under the ¡Yappah! brand, Protein Crisps, is crafted from rescued and up-cycled vegetable and grain-based ingredients that might otherwise be left behind.
Tyson Foods provides up-cycled chicken breast trim that is still full of flavor and protein and combines it with either rescued vegetable puree from juicing or rescued Molson Coors spent grain from beer brewing to create the line’s four flavors.
“We could not have developed the Protein Crisps without the enthusiastic collaboration of partners like Molson Coors,” Hamdallah said. “We will continue to seek out other great partners, large and small, who have resources and goals that complement our own.”
"This collaboration is consistent with our sustainable brewing priorities to address waste,” said David Durkee, Senior Director of R&D and Innovation for Molson Coors. “There is great potential to up-cycle our spent grains into amazing products and this is a key area of development for our innovation team."
The ¡Yappah! brand is designed to be an umbrella under which future products and product categories will be launched that help address major social and sustainability challenges related to food.
“With the Protein Crisps we are taking ‘forgotten’ ingredients and crafting them into a delicious protein snack,” continues Hamdallah. “For the ¡Yappah! brand, sustainability is not an add-on, it’s our DNA. Fighting food waste is just the beginning.”
A snack crafted by a chef trained at a Michelin-Star restaurant
In January 2018 Tyson Innovation Lab was challenged to re-think the culinary possibilities for ingredients that are typically left unused during food production, often becoming food waste.
“We wanted to be ingredient-driven in order to create a flavorful snack that people would absolutely love,” said Chef Kang Kuan, Executive Chef at Tyson Innovation Lab.
Chef Kang is no stranger to innovation, having built his culinary career at such highly original and nationally acclaimed restaurants as the French Laundry and Morimoto.
“I was thrilled by the opportunity to source ‘forgotten’ ingredients and compose them into something more flavor nuanced and protein-filled than typical snack foods,” said Kang. “People might not realize that vegetable pulp left behind during juicing is arguably better and richer tasting than the juice itself, and spent grain is surprisingly delicious. So, we had these amazing flavors to work with. The result is a crispy snack that comes in four culinary-driven flavors that will appeal to all food lovers.”
The four flavors are:
From Rescued Veggie Puree
Chicken Carrot- Curry Flavored
Chicken Celery- Mojo Flavored
From Rescued Spent Grain
Chicken IPA White Cheddar
Chicken- Shandy Beer Flavored
The ¡Yappah! brand’s commitment to using rescued ingredients stems from a major food challenge
The team is passionate about the idea that rescuing ‘forgotten’ ingredients means using food to its full potential. The statistics behind the wasted food challenge are overwhelming. In the U.S. alone, nearly one-third of all food used in food production ends up as waste, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The average person wastes 3.5 pounds of food per week and uneaten food equates to Americans throwing out as much as $218 billion each year, most of which ends up rotting in landfills where it emits harmful greenhouse gases.
Testing, evaluating and iterating is integral to the Tyson Innovation Lab approach. As such, Tyson Innovation Lab is launching ¡Yappah! Protein Crisps on the Indiegogo crowd-funding platform in May followed by a 90-day pilot at one Chicago-based supermarket in July.
“We think a chef-composed snack is a groundbreaking idea, but are cognizant that products fighting food waste are in their nascent stages,” said Santiago Proaño, Brand Lead, Tyson Innovation Lab. “Indiegogo is a great channel for testing since consumers on the platform are known for being early adopters of new to the world ideas and products. We want to connect directly with this enthusiastic community that cares about creating better food. Their reaction to the product, and their engagement with us, will help us get ready for what we hope will be a much broader rollout.”