Healthier Food

Tyson Foods’ brands are No. 1 in eight categories*, including Jimmy Dean® breakfast sausage, Tyson® frozen prepared chicken (Tyson®), Jimmy Dean® frozen breakfast sandwiches, Hillshire Farm® smoked sausage, Ball Park® hot dogs, State Fair® corn dogs, Wright® Brand stacked bacon, and Aidells® super premium sausage.

*Based on Branded $ Share Position. Sources: IRI, Total US Multi-Outlet, data thru 2/26/2017

Tyson Jimmy Dean Hillshire Farm BallPark State Fair Aidells Wright Brand
Sustainable Food Production in the Marketplace

Successful companies know their future depends on providing the quality products customers and consumers expect and deserve. We've become a leader in branded protein because of our strong belief in this statement. Our approach to food safety and quality is comprehensive, preventive, and proactive. We implement controls and measures at every level to make sure our products are second to none in food safety and quality.

We're also working to provide consumers options for healthier eating and balanced lifestyles, while demonstrating that great taste, high quality and good health can all work together.

Food Safety and Quality Assurance at a Glance* FY2015 FY2016
Food Safety and Quality Assurance Team Members 2,500 2,592
Certified Labs 11 13
Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Certified Plants 100 99
Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Level 3 Certified Plants 11 13
Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Level 2 Certified Plants 2 1
British Retail Consortium (BRC) Certified Plants 85 83
Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 Certified Plants 2 2
Product Recalls 1(Ground Beef) 2(Hot Wings, Chicken Nuggets)
*The number of certifications at our plants in FY16 has decreased from FY15 due to several plant closures.

We assess our products for improvement during product research and development, packaging development, manufacturing and production, marketing and promotion, storage and distribution, and use. We believe this approach helps guarantee the safety and quality of our products from the farm all the way to the dinner table. We are fully committed to our Core Values statement “We feed our families, the nation, and the world with trusted food products.”

Food Safety and Quality

Sustaining our company’s future means we must place the highest priority on food safety and quality. We use state-of-the-art food safety systems, the latest laboratory procedures and equipment, provide education and information that helps our customers and consumers use our products safely, continuously improve our product safety, and demand safe raw materials and ingredients from our suppliers.

Supporting Our Customers and Consumers

We offer consumers many tools and resources to help them safely prepare and serve our products once they get them home. At, customers and consumers can find a variety of information about food safety, from tips for buying, storing, thawing, preparing, and cooking our products, to meal ideas, promotional information, economical protein solutions, and feeding children healthy protein products they love.

Staying in Touch

Our team of Consumer Relations Representatives respond to social media inquiries, telephone calls, letters, and emails from our customers and consumers. The ideas and thoughts of our customers and consumers are very important to us. Their feedback helps ensure we're providing the taste, value, and convenience they deserve.

  • 244,000 Inquiries

  • During fiscal year 2016, we heard from approximately 244,000 customers and consumers.

Research and Development

Our two state-of-the-art Research & Development (R&D) facilities are located in Springdale, Arkansas, and Downers Grove, Illinois. They’re the hub of exploration for our company, allowing us to leverage rapid prototyping and scientific approaches to understanding product attributes important to consumers.


We’ve assembled a world-class R&D team of food scientists; chefs; health and wellness leaders; and packaging, engineering, sensory, and regulatory experts. This team transforms our company’s new product ideas into great food products.

Growth Performance

Our innovation efforts continue to bring to market a wide variety of new products that meet consumers' desire for fresh food, more protein, and convenience with offerings that can be eaten seamlessly throughout the day. We continue to drive growth through strong innovation as shown by our retail innovation vitality index. The index measures the percent of our net revenue that comes from innovations launched over a three-year horizon, with the best in class range hovering between 13-15 percent. In Fiscal 2016, our index remained at a best-in-class level of 14 percent. Innovation-related net revenue growth in fiscal years 2014 to 2016 increased by 21 percent. We will continue to innovate to develop new solutions that deliver healthier food, healthier animals, healthier workplaces, and a healthier environment.

  • 484 New Products Launched in Fiscal 2016

  • Our R&D team is constantly working to serve our customers and consumers delicious new products they'll love.

  • 1,500 and Counting

  • At any given time, more than 1,500 R&D projects are in the works.

Culinary Commitment

Innovative product development includes a collaborative process between our chefs and food scientists to provide a culinary-enriched development process blending culinary arts with the science of food. This culinary direction helps to ensure flavor drives our product development and helps our innovation team explore customer needs through a culinary lens.

Our professional culinary team brings expertise from a variety of different backgrounds, including chain and independent restaurants, hotels, catering, R&D, nutrition, education, and more. Our culinary team’s services range from generating new product ideas to complete product development, utilizing a proprietary system to inform sourcing of ingredients, package design, product cooking procedures, food styling, photography and menu innovation.

Packaging: Prototype to Concept

Ideas are explored with a focus on fulfilling emerging consumer needs and planning the future for packaging products. Our packaging labs are equipped to enable engineers to conduct extensive testing that will optimize final package designs. The labs contain multiple types of testing and design tools, including a 3-D printer and a digital Computer Aided Design (CAD) cutting table for rapid part-making. Using full-scale packaging equipment in our pilot plants, our packaging innovation and development department also has the ability to pack products for focus group use, in-home use, and market testing opportunities. We continue to explore opportunities to source renewable packaging materials and monitor the industry for new developments in technology.

Process Engineering

Process Research and Development Engineers work to optimize manufacturing systems that produce our food products. They develop and identify processes for new products or find methods to improve current processes creating improved efficiencies for the company. One key aspect of process development is to create systems to ensure our products can be reproduced with consistency over time and ensure our products are safe and wholesome for the consumer. Our engineers also support our retail and food service businesses with initiatives related to innovation and cost savings.

In addition to the cost savings initiatives, our Process Development Group filed a number of patent applications and developed several trade secrets in an effort to protect our intellectual property. Our process engineers look to identify new technologies that create a competitive and sustainable advantage for the enterprise in the marketplace.

What’s next?

That’s the question our R&D team asks every day when they set to work. Their eyes on the future, they keep us focused on creating value for our customers and consumers with the food products they desire and deserve. They help us identify opportunities by aligning company strategies and capabilities with consumer and marketplace trends.

Learn more about our R&D efforts.

Responsible Ingredient Sourcing

We’re committed to providing the world with trusted food products, and we partner with ingredient suppliers who share the same commitment. All ingredient suppliers must comply with food safety regulations and standards that apply to their operations, such as those set forth by USDA, FDA, Good Manufacturing Practices, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. We also require ingredient suppliers commit to the Global Food Safety Initiative and gain certification against one of the benchmarked standards.

These ingredients become part of our finished products. In addition to major purchases of agricultural commodities, such as wheat, corn, rice, soy, dairy, and vegetables, we also purchase ingredients that provide flavor, protect product integrity, promote food safety, and offer additional value to our customers.

While we do not disclose, for competitive reasons, specific details about the source of our ingredients, the majority of our operations are based in the U.S., and we purchase most of our ingredients from U.S.-based suppliers.

In addition to food safety, our ingredient sourcing team focuses on eliminating supply risk. By vetting multiple suppliers for each ingredient, we ensure redundancy in our supply chain. We also ensure each supplier has a robust continuity plan so we can continue to supply our customers with safe, quality food if there is an interruption in one part of the supply chain.

Promoting Health and Nutrition and Providing Specialty Products

Health and wellness are important to our customers and consumers. We make a variety of food products that deliver on taste, nutrition, and convenience that can fit into any lifestyle. Appropriate labeling of products and ingredients is one important aspect of serving consumers' needs. We’re committed to ensuring our products are packaged and labeled according to our high standards and meet government regulations.

No Antibiotics Ever

In February 2017, we announced we will expand our No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) chicken offerings, making us the world's leading producer of NAE chicken.

Our NatureRaised Farms® brand products come from animals that are never given antibiotics, are fed a 100% vegetarian diet, and are 100% natural*. Our Open Prairie™ Natural Angus brand products and our Open Prairie Natural Pork products come from animals that are raised without antibiotics or added hormones**.

*Minimally processed; no artificial ingredients

**Federal regulations prohibit the use of added hormones in pork

Reducing Sodium

As part of our continuing efforts to provide healthful food options to meet consumers’ and our customers’ needs, we’re focused on ways to limit the use of sodium in our products without significantly affecting flavor or compromising food safety.

Gluten Free Products

Consumers with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy can trust Tyson® gluten free chicken nuggets and breast strips to deliver on flavor and convenience. Both products are, 100% all natural (minimally processed with no artificial ingredients), contain no preservatives or fillers, and are made with white meat chicken. In addition, to our gluten free protein products, we offer waffles, pancakes, French toast sticks, cereals and more, that are gluten free and include whole grains to meet the growing need for expanding nutrition options.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils

R&D product developers are nearing completion of the removal of partially hydrogenated oils (PHO) from our products in order to comply with the most current Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations. We are on track to have all PHO removed from our products by summer 2017, well ahead of the FDA 2018 compliance date.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released in January 2016. The guidance comes every five years and is the backbone of all federal feeding programs, such as the National School Lunch, Head Start, and Adult Feeding programs. It’s also used as a resource for health professionals and policymakers. The current guidelines reaffirmed the role of lean meat and poultry in a healthy diet.

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reaffirm the role of lean meat and poultry in a healthy diet. The dietary guidelines are intended to help Americans choose foods that help maintain health. As noted in the guidelines, people eat foods and nutrients in combination, not isolation; so it makes sense that the focus of this release of the guidelines is on overall eating patterns. Healthy eating patterns include protein foods from both plant and animal sources. As noted in the key recommendations, "a variety of protein foods," includes lean meat and poultry, seafood, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds ,and soy products, and minerals, that help keep us strong and healthy at all ages.

We provide a variety of protein choices for all meal and snack occasions to support healthy eating patterns. Following healthy eating patterns is vital to health. We believe the key to a healthy lifestyle includes a balanced diet with a variety of foods in sensible amounts and regular physical activity across the lifespan.

Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 eighth edition

New and improved nutrition label
New Nutrition Facts Label

On May 27, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a new and improved Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods sold in the United States. The new label reflects improvements to help consumers make informed food choices. Key changes include an updated design giving more visual emphasis to calories and serving size, reflects updated information about nutrition science specific to added sugars, dietary fat, and vitamins and minerals, and includes an update on some serving sizes and labeling requirements for certain package sizes.

Tyson Foods is excited to move forward with the new Nutrition Facts label on our FDA products in the coming years and are closely following guidance from USDA for meat and poultry products.

Stepping Up For Back-To-School

The combination of Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands in August 2014 created a single company with a portfolio that includes recognized brands, such as Tyson®, Bosco™, Jimmy Dean®, Ball Park®, State Fair®, Chef Pierre®, Sara Lee®, Van’s® and Mexican Original®. We put our hearts into creating the safest, most wholesome products available, including those we make for our Tyson Food Service K-12 school business.

Serving Great School Lunches
  • 31 products meet USDA’s “Smart Snacks in Schools” regulations.
  • More than 280 products meet specific school nutrition regulations for fat, sodium, and calorie content.
  • 65 Kid Tested, Kid Approved products.
  • 122 products carry the Whole Grain Stamp from the Whole Grain Council.
  • 94 products are eligible for federal funds reimbursement for schools and meet school lunch nutrition standards through 2022.
  • 42 products are part of Cool School Café® which offers reward points to schools for purchasing those products. The points can be used to purchase items of benefit to the school district.

With breakfast continuing to be a fast growing daypart of school nutrition and schools looking for new food items to serve, we have given school many more reasons to partner with Tyson Food Service K-12 during the past year.

  • New Bosco™ breakfast sticks are available in three great flavors and come individually wrapped or bulk: Egg and Cheese, Bacon Egg and Cheese, and Ham and Cheese.
  • New Chef Pierre® four ounce muffins that are individually wrapped and meet the two-ounce grain credit for the National School Breakfast program. Available in Blueberry, Banana and Double Chocolate.
  • New Tyson Wei Café™ brand, which offers six ethnic style products as well as increased marketing support and recipes that schools can access to add diversity to their menus.
  • New Tyson® Buffalo flavored glazed chicken drumstick for schools are a great dark meat chicken item that helps them keep their federal funds usage in balance.
  • Our redesigned K-12 FOCUS Magazine that educates K-12 foodservice operators about our leading brands and line up of featured products. These branded product lines offer wholesome nutritious choices for breakfast, lunch, and snacking that can help improve student meal participation.
  • We remain an active, longtime sponsor and Patron Member of the School Nutrition Association, a national, nonprofit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Specifically, the association ensures all children have access to healthy school meals and nutritional education.

    Giving Back Kinder through 12th Grade
    Giving Back to K-12

    In July 2016, more than 3,500 school nutrition professionals gathered in San Antonio, TX for the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference. Tyson Foodservice K-12 had a very strong presence while showcasing several new innovative items and inspirational recipes featuring items from our K-12 FOCUS Magazine across our various brands. One main highlight of the show was when we gave grants to seven different schools totaling $20,000 in the Tyson Great Grant Giveaway. The schools planned on reinvesting their grants to further enhance their foodservice operations. The Tyson Foodservice K-12 team plans to continue this tradition at the upcoming 2017 ANC show in Atlanta, GA.

    Responsible Marketing and Advertising

    Our principal marketing objective is to be the primary provider of chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and prepared foods products for our customers and consumers. We use our national distribution system and customer support services to achieve the leading market position for our products. We identify distinctive markets and business opportunities through continuous consumer and market research.

    Our print ads are targeted to adults, including parents and single-person or dual person households who prepare meals at home. We do not advertise to children and we have policies in place that prevent children from providing personal information via our website.

    We make judicious use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to provide opportunities for our consumers to interact with our products and share product information with their friends and families.

    We grow our leading brands while supporting our strong regional and emerging brands primarily through well-defined, product-specific advertising and public relations efforts that are focused toward key consumer targets with specific needs.

    Point-of-sale and marketing materials, as well as advertisements used by all Tyson Foods businesses, receive thorough internal business-unit and legal review to ensure appropriate controls over use of intellectual property and the accuracy of every product claim. We advertise in accordance with guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission and voluntary review organizations such as the Advertising Self- Regulatory Council, which includes the National Advertising Division and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Better Business Bureau, and SocialMedia.Org. The internal reviews we conduct also ensure the label claims made on our products are approved by the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service and meet FDA ingredient, packaging and labeling regulations.