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Tyson Foods and Taco Bell® Awarded Most Innovative New Product

The Quesalupa® demonstrates creativity, teamwork and sales success

NAPLES, Fla. – Oct. 3, 2016 – Five years ago, Taco Bell asked Tyson Foods a question: “Can you put cheese inside a tortilla?”

Tyson Foods is being honored as the Prepared Foods Spirit of Innovation Awards Editor’s Pick and Most Innovative New Product for its answer – the Quesalupa®.

The perfect spicy kick and right gooey pull of pepper jack cheese combined with the tender bite of the chewy, flaky Chalupa® shell have made the Quesalupa® a consumer favorite – Taco Bell has sold more than 74 million Quesalupas® since its 2016 Super Bowl launch. But the road to the unique Quesalupa® experience wasn’t easy.

The development of the Quesalupa® took the Tyson Foods and Taco Bell teams about three years and 2,100 hours filled with innovative thinking and hundreds of prototype samples.

“As a long-time supplier of ‘out-of-the-shell’ products for Taco Bell, the Tyson Foods R&D team thrives on the opportunity to innovate wildly, and the Quesalupa® clearly illustrates the business value of this kind of creative partnership,” said Craig Bacon, Senior Vice President of Research & Development at Tyson Foods. “We’re honored to receive Spirit of Innovation Award for the team’s tireless work on this new product.”

Because the Quesalupa® is unlike any tortilla, a creative approach was needed to seal the cheese between two tortillas. R&D and Operations teams worked together to design and build unique equipment to produce the Quesalupa by hand, and about 700 employees, a 30 percent increase in staffing, across four Tyson Foods plants, were hired to create the new innovation.

The Prepared Foods and Ventura Foods Spirit of Innovation Awards, which began in 2003, recognize formulators’ exemplary teamwork and new product achievements on the basis of originality, demonstrated teamwork and demonstrated sales success.

The Tyson Foods and Taco Bell team received their award recently during the Prepared Foods annual New Products Conference in Naples, Fla.

About Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world's largest food companies with leading brands such as Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Sara Lee®,  Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells® and State Fair®. It’s a recognized market leader in chicken, beef and pork as well as prepared foods, including bacon, breakfast sausage, turkey, lunchmeat, hot dogs, pizza crusts and toppings, tortillas and desserts. The company supplies retail and foodservice customers throughout the United States and approximately 130 countries. Tyson Foods was founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson, whose family has continued to lead the business with his son, Don Tyson, guiding the company for many years and grandson, John H. Tyson, serving as the current chairman of the board of directors. The company currently has approximately 113,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.


Contact: Derek Burleson, 479-290-6466,