Category Captain: Deli Prepared Foods: Tyson Foods Inc.

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Category Captain: Deli Prepared Foods: Tyson Foods Inc.


As prepared food grows both in size and importance to the deli department, a multifaceted approach to category management is essential to build success. A proven industry leader, Tyson Foods Inc. has taken an innovative approach that’s been highly effective in delivering retail deli products that exceed consumer expectations for quality and convenience.

Working regularly with national retailers to share insights and recommendations for a strong deli prepared category, Tyson uses data to highlight retailer opportunities and then develops product solutions that appeal to consumers, reduce shrink and build strong performance in the category.

Recognizing the logistical difficulties in calling on retailers individually, Tyson created a business-to-business Web platform,, that allows the company to collaborate more closely with its 29,000 distribution points, including untapped small chains and independent retailers that are often most in need of category management support. Among the available online tools is Tyson’s Deli Mix Calculator, which helps retailers optimize their product mix and pricing strategies based on their own cost, sales and margin goals, while providing actionable tips. Feedback has been overwhelmingly favorable from the retail partners that take advantage of the initiative.

Backing that up are innovative products that bring variety to the prepared deli. Easy to prepare for the hot case, Tyson Chicken Glazers are unbreaded chicken breast pieces with on-trend bold sauces such as buffalo, barbecue and Asian. Meanwhile, Tyson Rotisserie Chicken Bakes are assembly kits that use excess cooked chicken to create a medley of quick, convenient, tasty meal solutions, including chicken pot pie, chicken bacon Alfredo and chicken enchiladas. These products provide retailers with easy, low-labor ways to add value to the deli prepared chicken category.

Multifaceted programs with major retailers have further yielded healthy sales for Tyson’s new products and significantly boosted sales of chicken wings through an exclusive brand created for one of its retail partners.