In 1976, Tyson Foods introduced the Ozark Fry chicken patty for restaurants and other foodservice businesses. This was the company’s first truly innovative convenience product. Another ground-breaking product, chicken chunks, came directly from the chicken patty we were already making. The idea was simply to take the breaded, boneless patty and cut it into three or four small pieces that could be eaten by hand. The success of these items has inspired entire lines of products in our foodservice and retail markets. These include breaded nuggets, filets, tenderloins popcorn chicken, boneless wings, and new foods still to be discovered. Today, we ship more than 22,000 tons of Tyson® chicken nuggets per year.
In the late 1960s, Iowa Beef Packers, a small company in Denison, Iowa, revolutionized the beef industry with the introduction of boxed beef. By shipping vacuum-packed sections of beef in boxes, the company (soon known as IBP) was able to greatly reduce the costs that had been associated with shipping whole carcasses to market, as explained here by IBP executive Dale Tinstman:
"It was a natural progression from the efficiencies of shipping carcasses to shipping boxed beef. There is a lot of wasted space in a modern truck or rail car filled with chilled sides of beef. A side of beef has an awkward shape – it can't be neatly packed, and a side has a lot of bones and trimmings that will never go into the meat case. It was logical to move to boxed beef."