May 22, 2006


Tyson goes al naturel to stem losses



Tyson's three new products made its debut Thursday (May 18) at the Harris Nesbitt Agriculture and Protein Conference in New York, marking the start of the food giant's US$5 million marketing campaign of its' "All Natural" products.


Observers saw this as a bid to arrest declining income which has fallen 92.5 percent the second quarter of fiscal 2006 over the same quarter last year. The company reported a US$217 million loss for the second quarter. Poultry sales have slid 32 percent for the first half of fiscal 2006 compared to the same period a year earlier.


The new products feature "all natural" trimmed and individually wrapped chicken breasts that would be available in time for the summer grilling season, the company said.


Bill Lovette, Tyson senior vice president of poultry said consumer surveys indicated that an increasing number of consumers are calling for all natural chicken and preferred for it to be marinated.


According to USDA definitions, as long as there are no artificial ingredient additives or added color altering raw products, the chicken may be labelled "All Natural" even if antibiotics are used in the course of rearing.


Research indicated that fresh chicken accounts for three quarters of all fresh meat purchases and many remove the fat before cooking.


As such, the new trimmed products should meet consumer needs nicely, Lovette said.

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