New Meat, Poultry and Seafood Products
A look at new meat, poultry and seafood products making a debut in October 2018
Butterball Introduces New Products, Packaging, Promotions—and R&D Leadership
Butterball LLC, Garner, N.C., unveiled what it called “top-to-bottom” changes with a newly created innovation team in conjunction with a complete package redesign, a new “All Natural” line, and new consumer promotional campaigns. In August, officials called the move “the biggest refresh in the brand’s 60-plus-year history.”
As testament to Butterball’s company initiative, it hired Jeff Mundt for the newly created role of vice president of Research & Development and Innovation. Officials say Mundt brings more than 25 years of experience in food innovation, brand and product launches and pipeline development, and most recently came from The Hershey Company.
“We have a significant growth opportunity to build out our product portfolio through aggressive, thoughtful innovation efforts, and we need a champion to head that initiative and drive our brand,” said Butterball Chief Marketing Officer, Bill Klump.
Klump cites shifting consumer needs as the key driver for this renewed focus on innovation.
“Our research has shown that consumer needs have changed, even among those we consider to be our core consumers. The product as we know it isn’t as relevant with consumers as it once was,” said Klump. “We created this position, equipped Mundt with a dedicated team and carved out resources with the specific focus of looking for new business that might not exist today.”
Mundt spent the last seven years of his career with The Hershey Company, holding various innovation roles developing new brands, technologies and products for the Health and Wellness, 3D Chocolate Printing and Permissible Indulgence platforms. Prior to his work at Hershey’s, Mundt worked in various segments of Mars, Inc., specializing in BFY chocolate innovation, new brands and venture modeling.
Mundt holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania; a Master’s of Science degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Rutgers University; and an MBA from New York University.
New Products, Promotion
Rolling out nationwide is Butterball’s new All Natural products lineup—including Smoked Sausage, Turkey Bacon, Breakfast Sausage, Frozen Turkey Burgers and Turkey Meatballs. Officials say these products boast simpler labels with no hormones or steroids, no nitrates or nitrites, no artificial ingredients, and are minimally processed.
Consumers also will have a chance to taste these changes in the deli as Butterball releases a new premium deli flavor portfolio. New deli turkey breast flavors—such as Cajun, Cracked Pepper and Deep Fried, and a new Buffalo Chicken Breast—will be sold alongside Butterball’s signature Thanksgiving Roasted deli turkey breast flavor.
“As consumers’ preferences for more natural, healthier products increase, we are simultaneously improving our products, labels, processes and ingredients to reflect what consumers expect from their protein choices,” said Klump. “We want consumers to know exactly what is in or not in the products of their trusted turkey brand, and we let that insight drive what we call out on the package.”
The overhaul includes new designs on every product across the brand, prominent nutrition labels featured on the front of products, and cleaner ingredient upgrades without compromising taste.
The upgraded Butterball products are featured across consumer platforms with social and digital promotions, and TV advertising that includes a reoccurring presence in Food Network magazine and Pioneer Woman magazine, as well as sponsorship of Pioneer Woman content on Foodnetwork.com and in-store video activations.
Tyson Innovation Lab Launches ¡Yappah!
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 May 31st with a campaign on Indiegogo, a crowd-funding platform. 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.
New protein crisps use rescued, upcycled vegetable and grain-based ingredients.
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 upcycled vegetable and grain-based ingredients that might otherwise be left behind.
Tyson Foods provides upcycled 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. Using rescued veggie puree, Tyson introduced Curry Flavors Chicken Carrot Crisps and Mojo Flavored Chicken Celery Crisps. Using rescued spent grains, researchers created Chicken IPA White Cheddar Crisps and Chicken-Shandy Beer Flavored Crisps.
“The ¡Yappah! brand mission is unique, important and far-reaching,” said Rizal Hamdallah, Head of Tyson Innovation Lab.
Deals Changing Tyson Meat, Poultry Biz
This August saw Tyson Foods, Inc. agree to purchase the Keystone Foods business from Marfrig Global Foods for $2.16 billion in cash. Headquartered in West Chester, Pa., Keystone supplies chicken, beef, fish and pork to some of the world’s leading quick-service restaurant chains, as well as retail and convenience store channels. Its value-added product portfolio includes chicken nuggets, wings and tenders; beef patties; and breaded fish fillets.
The acquisition includes six processing plants and an innovation center in the U.S. with locations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. (It does not include the beef patty processing plant in Ohio.) It also includes eight plants and three innovation centers in China, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia.
“Keystone is a leading global protein company and will be a great addition to Tyson Foods,” said Tom Hayes, former president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “This acquisition will expand our international presence and value-added production capabilities and help us deliver more value to our foodservice customers. Keystone provides a significant foundation for international growth with its in-country operations, sales and distribution network in high growth markets in the Asia Pacific region as well as exports to key markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”
This June also saw Tyson acquire Tecumseh Poultry LLC, one of the nation’s leading producers of organic branded chicken, including the air-chilled Smart Chicken brand Tecumseh Poultry, Waverly, Neb., was founded in 1998 and produces air-chilled, fresh chicken, as well as deli-style chicken and a variety of chicken sausages.
“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.”