Tyson Foods has expanded its portfolio of organic brands with the acquisition of Tecumseh Poultry, the owner of air-chilled organic chicken brand Smart Chicken, for an undisclosed sum.
According to data provided by Nielsen, sales of organic fresh chicken in the US grew 8.6% from 2016 to 2017, and Tyson claims that the Smart Chicken brand holds a strong position in the segment thanks to the processing capabilities of Tecumseh and the brand’s focus on quality.
As well as air-chilled chicken, Tecumseh produces deli-style chicken and chicken sausages at its production facilities located in Tecumseh and Waverly, Nebraska.
Tyson Foods says that it plans to operate Tecumseh Poultry as a separate, wholly-owned subsidiary and a statement says that the company expects to retain its 600 employees, including operations staff, sales teams and management.
This acquisition expands Tyson’s organic product portfolio and strengthens its position in the organic sector, as the company’s NatureRaised Farms and Aidells brands also produce a range of organic products.
Eric Schwartz, chief marketing officer of Poultry for Tyson Foods said: “Consumers want choices. More and more consumers want options for fresh, organic food that fits their lifestyles.
“The Smart Chicken brand is a leader in this key organic category, and the category’s growth makes this acquisition a strategic fit for Tyson Foods.”
Doug Ramsey, group president of Poultry for Tyson Foods added: “This is a well-run company with a solid customer base that’s earned consumer loyalty.
“We’re excited for Tecumseh to continue to produce quality chicken while providing the business the scale and resources it needs to continue growing. Customers should continue to work with existing contacts.”
Kevin Siebert, president of Tecumseh said: “We’ve spent 18 years working to perfect our ability to produce the highest-quality, fresh chicken in the U.S. We’re very proud of that, and it’s not going to change.
“Tyson Foods brings to the Smart Chicken brand and the rest of our product lines the resources to make us even stronger.”
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