Tyson Foods Is Using Crowdfunding To Embrace The Startup Mentality

Tyson Foods Is Using Crowdfunding To Embrace The Startup Mentality
Delivery & Logistics

The brand's Innovation Lab is using the crowd-based platform Indiegogo to test a new product that is trying to help mitigate food waste in the industry

Andrew Vaterlaus-Staby
  • 5 june 2018

88 year-old company Tyson Foods is working on a new initiative to put the startup mentality back in to the way it creates new products and services. The food producer is looking to accomplish this with a team of seven dedicated workers at a new Innovation Lab in Chicago.

The team includes a range of professionals such as a food scientist, a brand marketer, a product designer and a Michelin-trained chef who were given the chance to create and get a new product to market within six months. As part of that responsibility, the group has oversight over everything from designing to launching and marketing.

Jen Bentz, senior vice president of R&D for insights and innovation at Tyson, told Food Dive in a statement, “As we think about innovation and what’s happening out in the market today, we’re seeing a lot of growth coming from smaller startup companies, and the typical CPG companies that we’ve competed with in the past aren’t necessarily going to be our biggest competitors as we look into the future for growth…so we had to take a step back and say, ‘Well, what makes them successful, and what should we be thinking about from a growth model moving forward?”

The lab is meant to be run independently from Tyson itself. So far it has resulted in two new products: Flash Food, a subscription box that delivers surplus food directly to consumers, and ¡Yappah!, a crunchy snack food that is made using surplus Tyson chicken that would otherwise go to waste, and is currently being crowd tested using the online platform Indiegogo.


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