2018 Sustainability Report

Consumer Nutrition

We’re committed to offering product options that meet the unique nutrition needs of our diverse consumers

Meeting The Growing Demand For Personalized Nutrition

Responsible nutrition is integrated into our company’s purpose of raising the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. That’s also critical to our business success. Consumers’ increased interest in their overall health is driving their food choices in the marketplace, and their nutrition needs and preferences are constantly evolving.

As one of the largest food companies in the world, it’s incumbent upon Tyson to anticipate and respond to these needs with fresh ideas and innovative products that expand our portfolio of foods with nutritious attributes.

Chicken Flatbread

Putting Protein in the Spotlight

Protein is vital to a nutritious and well-balanced diet. The rise in low-carb, paleo and ketogenic diets in recent years, along with the growing body of research that supports the role of protein in health, has amplified interest in protein-rich foods. Consumption of beef, chicken, pork and turkey have each been on a steady incline over the past five years, reaching record highs in the U.S. during 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Responding to consumers looking to add more protein to their diets, we offer a broad portfolio of protein products that include such top-selling brands as Jimmy Dean®, Tyson®, Hillshire Farm®, Ball Park®, and Aidells®.

In 2018, we expanded our protein offerings by acquiring Keystone Foods, which increases our value-added protein Consumer Nutrition — We’re committed to offering product options that meet the unique nutrition needs of our diverse consumers capabilities with its portfolio of chicken nuggets, wings and tenders, and breaded fish fillets. We also acquired Tecumseh Poultry, making us one of the nation’s leading producers of organic branded chicken. The purchase included the air-chilled Smart Chicken® brand. And in February 2019, we announced a definitive agreement to acquire the Thai and European operations of BRF S.A. This purchase includes four processing facilities in Thailand, one processing facility in the Netherlands and one processing facility in the United Kingdom. This deal builds on our growth strategy to expand offerings of value-added protein in global markets.

    As a protein-centric company, we continue to deliver products that meet key consumer needs, including:  

    • Portable Protein: Consumers are eating more protein in the form of snacks. This trend, combined with increased concern over portion control, is why we invested in product innovations in 2018 that included ¡Yappah!™ Chicken Crisps and Jimmy Dean® Protein Packs, which are individually sized and deliver on portability and portion control.
    • Protein for Every Meal: Consumers want more protein throughout the day. This is especially true for breakfast. In 2018, we innovated the Jimmy Dean® Delights Egg’wich, which contains fewer than 300 calories and offers a high-protein breakfast without the carbohydrates from bread. Two new egg white scramble flavors build on the success of Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles® Breakfast Cups, which were our best-performing new single-serve breakfast item in retail last year.

    true chews pet treats

    We provide high-quality, nutritious food not only for people, but also for pets.

    Recently, Tyson Pet Products launched the Everyday Wellness Bakes platform of True Chews® dog treats that supports five health areas – bone and joint, tummy, brain, immune and heart. The treats contain no artificial flavors or preservatives, and chicken is the number one ingredient in each. These offerings provide a simple way to help pet parents make decisions for their furry friends.

    Strategic Engagement & Knowledge Sharing

    Our nutrition team engages throughout the Tyson organization to ensure that nutrition is kept top of mind. The team offers nutrition education to Tyson team members during the quarterly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) challenge, as part of the Poultry and Prepared Foods Supervisor Training Program. Our nutrition team also works closely with R&D and marketing teams offering information around consumer nutrition trends, emerging nutrition science and policy changes that impact our business.

    In addition to internal engagement, this team is involved with the nutrition community to bring the latest research and best practices in house. To stay up to speed, the team attends conferences and participates in association memberships and research partnerships, including:

    • Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE): Every year, our nutrition team attends FNCE, the largest worldwide meeting for food and nutrition experts, which gives dietitians insight into the latest nutrition research and trends, and provides continuing education required to maintain professional credentials.
    • American Society for Nutrition: In 2018, a team member participated in the first annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition in Boston, which included an exposition, satellite workshops related to protein and the first 1,000 days of life, and nutrition-related research presentations by graduate students and seasoned professionals from nutrition scientists to medical doctors.
    • National Pork Board (NPB), North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and Research Funding: Our nutrition team provides leadership and technical support of ongoing protein and health research and policy through engagement with NPB and NAMI.
    • This growing body of scientific evidence related to the benefits of protein in the diet will contribute to the 2020 revision of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. • Engaging Local Dietetic Influencers: In 2018, several of our dietitians presented to local dietetic influencers, providing education around consumer insights, trends and product development.

    Through these engagements, our dietitians took note of several nutrition trends in 2018, including growing consumer interest in:

    • Protein consumption in all forms (animal and plant).
    • Purchasing products that promote digestive health, including fiber, pre and probiotics and whole grains.
    • Tools that communicate product ingredients, content and allergens in food products to facilitate better informed purchasing decisions for their families.

    Health-Focused Product Attributes

    All-Natural or Natural/100% Natural* Ingredients

    No Antibiotics Ever



    Reduced** or Low Sodium***

    100% Whole Grain


      *100% All Natural: Minimally processed and no artificial ingredients
     **Reduced Sodium: 25 percent or more reduction in the amount of sodium from a reference food
    ***Low Sodium: 140mg of sodium or less per reference amount customarily consumed


    World Economic Forum

    At this global gathering of world leaders, Tyson Executive Vice President Alternative Proteins and Chief Sustainability Officer Justin Whitmore engaged with leaders in business, government and society about the global food system. Dialogues focused on the need for a food system that is climate smart, inclusive, healthy and affordable. Through collaboration, we can help build a system that focuses on better health outcomes, broader offerings and more sustainable food. Policy leaders, governments and other industry players around the world are looking to Tyson as a leading voice in this effort.

    Improving Product Attributes

    While all of our products are nutritious, consumers are increasingly demanding products with simpler ingredients and fewer additives, as well as products with certain health-focused attributes. We seek to expand the number of products with attributes consumers crave, including all-natural, gluten-free, no antibiotics ever (NAE), no artificial ingredients (NAI), reduced or low sodium, organic and 100 percent whole grain.

    In 2015, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a final determination that mandated food companies remove partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) from food products by June 2018. We successfully completed the removal of PHOs in accordance with the FDA compliance date, without sacrificing product performance and taste.

    Shopping Couple


    K-12 Focused Products *
    FY2016 FY2017 FY2018*
    Products that adhere to USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools regulations 31 28 31
    Products that meet school nutrition regulations for fat, sodium, and calorie content 280 280+ 550+
    Products that are Kid Tested, Kid Approved 65 63 73
    K-12 Products that carry the Whole Grain Stamp 122 134 132
    Products eligible for federal reimbursement in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, meeting school lunch nutrition standards through 2022 94 139 264
    Cool School Café® products, which offers reward points to schools for purchasing products that can then be used to purchase items that benefit the school district 42 70 94

    Our K-12 nutrition team stays abreast of changes in school nutrition regulations and legislation that might affect our programs and products. We measure the performance of our K-12 nutrition efforts by ensuring we are in alignment with the latest USDA Nutrition Standards for School Meals. Since the latest requirements have been in place since 2010, we have formulated all K-12 specific items to meet or exceed these requirements.

    *FY2018 includes AdvancePierre Foods; FY2016 and FY2017 do not. Keystone Foods and Tecumseh Poultry are not included.

    K-12 Nutrition

    We aim to do our part to help kids grow into healthy adults. We’re dedicated to offering wholesome, safe and nutritious products to schoolchildren through our K-12 Tyson Foodservice business. Through our research, we have found that antibiotic policies and growing interest in the ingredients in our food products are very important to our Foodservice Directors and parents. All 75+ of our commodity-eligible chicken items now meet the claims of no artificial ingredients and chicken raised with no antibiotics ever. We are the first chicken supplier to offer schools chicken items that meet these claims and are available for use with their USDA commodity reprocessing funds.

    While it’s important to have clean labels, it’s also essential that we continue to produce delicious products and flavor profiles for a changing demographic of students. To continue to evolve our portfolio to appeal to the changing flavor diversity that students want today, we are focused on exciting flavors for school food. Thai Lemongrass, Korean BBQ and Honey Sriracha are just a few of the flavors now available in our Tyson Wei Café® Asian-influenced chicken products.

    Highlights from our FY2018 K-12 initiatives also include:

    • Creating an educational webpage on No Antibiotics Ever and No Artificial Ingredients that provides important nutrition and “clean label” information about our products to schools.
    • Expanding our K-12 full line portfolio by adding new innovative items, including State Fair® Mini Corndogs, Mega Minis® Battered Waffle Flavored Chicken Chunks, Mega Minis® Breaded Nashville Hot and Tyson Wei Café® Breaded Sweet & Sour Dark Meat Chicken Chunks – all of which meet NAE/NAI requirements and meet whole grain and sodium standards in place.
    • Continuing as an active sponsor and Patron Member of the School Nutrition Association, which advocates for high-quality, low-cost meals in school.
    • Increasing our support of Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry to address childhood food insecurity by providing grants to schools to help them establish after-school feeding programs.
    • We are the only chicken supplier to provide such a vast portfolio of commodity-eligible NAE/NAI chicken items. We also plan to expand NAI and All-Natural to our K-12 beef and pork items, and explore how alternative proteins will shape future protein consumption in K‑12.