Tyson Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSN), one of the U.S.’s largest meatpackers, announced that it has become one of the nation’s leading producers of organic chicken after acquiring Tecumseh Poultry LLC and its air-chilled chicken brand, Smart Chicken. Tyson Foods said in a press release that it plans to operate Tecumseh Poultry as a separate, wholly owned subsidiary and expects to retain its 600 team members, including operations staff, sales teams, and management at plants located in Tecumseh and Waverly, Nebraska.
“Consumers want choices. More and more consumers want options for fresh, organic food that fits their lifestyles,” said Eric Schwartz, chief marketing officer of Poultry for Tyson Foods, in a press release. “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.”
According to Nielsen’s Perishables data, organic fresh chicken grew sales volume by 8.6 percent from 2016 to 2017, over four times higher than the rate of conventional poultry. Tyson claims Tecumseh Poultry’s processing capacity and its focus on quality have put Smart Chicken in a leading position in the fastest-growing U.S. category of fresh chicken.
“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,” said Doug Ramsey, group president of Poultry for Tyson Foods. “Customers should continue to work with existing contacts.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, Tecumseh Poultry is estimated to earn about $40 million this year on a projected $170 million in sales.
Tyson Foods also produces other organic products under its other brands, NatureRaised Farms and Aidells.