BEEFING UP (AND PORKING OUT) AT TYSON

TYSON FOODS
spent years cultivating its reputation as chicken purveyor supreme — and succeeded. Now with a 25 percent market share in the tough bird-eat-bird world, Tyson is tackling two other members of the protein food group.

Its acquisition of beef-and-pork leader IBP Inc. in September 2001 brought a host of new products to Tyson, but dominating three meat markets wasn’t a given. “The challenge is to take two world-class companies and put them together, and then on top of that, introduce all these new products under the Tyson name,” says Bob Corsacadden, senior VP and chief marketing officer at Tyson.

The blended company, with $23 billion in sales, is using Tyson’s brand strategy and IBP’s centralized and efficient purchasing system. And it’s able to take advantage of two strong distribution systems, Tyson’s in frozen products and IBP’s in refrigerated. So far, the company has launched a full-service, prepackaged deli line under the Tyson name to strong customer feedback.

Expect more in the coming months: Tyson is test-marketing fresh-frozen beef and pork products on the West Coast and introducing a first-ever Tyson Bacon. Meanwhile, the company’s new $100 million marketing campaign uses the tag line “Tyson, It’s What Your Family Deserves.” With a successful merger, streamlined processes, and an array of new products, Tyson may get what it deserves, too.