Why We Are Investing in Alternative Proteins

Tom Hayes, President and CEO

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At first, it might seem counterintuitive.

Admittedly, it seemed counterintuitive to some inside our company too.

We know what comes to mind when people think of Tyson Foods – and that’s chicken. But in truth, we’re about chicken and so much more. We’re about sausage and pepperoni. Scrambled eggs and convenience snacks. Deli turkey and beef jerky. And now, through our venture capital fund, cultured meats and plant-based proteins.

All of those foods have one common link: protein.

Simply put, today’s consumers want more protein. Sixty percent of us are actively trying to add more protein to our diets, and when we think about the attributes we want in our food, protein tops the list – outranking all-natural ingredients and vitamins and minerals.

At the same time, our global population continues to grow. There will be a billion more people in the world by 2030, and each person is expected to eat more calories. Those factors combined mean the world will need to supply at least 20 percent more calories in 2030 than it does today.

The question facing all of us: How will we feed this growing number of people the protein they want, in ways that are sustainable?

We believe it will take a combination of innovative and traditional approaches. 

That’s why Tyson Foods is investing in alternative proteins through Beyond Meat and Memphis Meats, giving our growing population more ways to feel good about the protein they’re eating.

We’re also stepping up our game on animal proteins by reinvesting millions of dollars in our core businesses and making bold moves that matter to consumers, like raising chicken without antibiotics. Consumers are eating more animal protein than ever before, and we’re committed to getting that protein to them.

This isn’t an “either or” scenario; it’s a “yes and” scenario.

If you think about it, a protein strategy inclusive of alternative forms is intuitive for Tyson Foods. It’s another step toward giving today’s consumers what they want and feeding tomorrow’s consumers sustainably for years to come.

No one knows exactly what the future of food will look like. That’s why we’re exploring new approaches. Some will resonate with consumers more than others, but we believe every attempt will move us forward – as a business and as a planet hungry for protein.


Published: Jan 29, 2018


Visit the links below to learn more about our investments in alternative protein:

Tyson Foods Invests in Cultured Meat with Stake in Memphis Meats - Jan. 29, 2018

Tyson Foods Makes Additional Investment in Beyond Meat - Dec. 7, 2017

Beyond Meat and Tyson Foods Announce Investment Agreement - Oct. 10, 2016