Tyson Wants To Own Protein

The Lempert Report
September 11, 2018

Tyson Foods is on the move! They recently bought Keystone Foods and just launched ¡Yappah!

They bought Keystone Foods, the major supplier of chicken McNuggets to McDonalds in mid August and before that its Tyson Innovation Lab, launched ¡Yappah!, its first brand that took less than six months from start to finish.

Not only is the product unique, more on that in a moment, but Tyson is actually launching on the crowd funding platform Indiegogo – not typical for a giant powerhouse and well-funded food company. Clearly they have their eyes on the 2018 reality and the Millennial and Gen Z consumer who are very concerned about food waste and sustainability.

Back to the product. Yapa is a term in South American Andes which refers to the little something extra a merchant gives to a valued customer so that nothing gets wasted.

According to Rizal Hamdallah, Head of Tyson Innovation Lab “The¡Yappah!brand mission is unique, important and far-reaching. The brand was created to inspire people and partners to rethink their relationship to food and how it impacts society. Through this launch, we intend to address global food challenges such as food waste.”

The first product under the ¡Yappah!brand, is Protein Crisps, which is crafted from rescued and upcycled vegetable and grain-based ingredients that might otherwise be left behind. And it’s a partnership: Tyson Foods provides upcycled chicken breast trim full of protein and combines it with either rescued vegetable puree from juicing or rescued Molson Coors spent grain from beer brewing to create the line’s four flavors. 

Chef Kang Kuan is the Executive Chef at Tyson Innovation Lab and whose background includes stints at the French Laundry and Morimoto who led the team that developed the snacks. He says that “People might not realize that vegetable pulp left behind during juicing is arguably better and richer tasting than the juice itself, and spent grain is surprisingly delicious. So, we had these amazing flavors to work with. The result is a crispy snack that comes in four culinary-driven flavors that will appeal to all food lovers.”

From Rescued Veggie Puree: Chicken Carrot - Curry Flavored, Chicken Celery - Mojo Flavored

From Rescued Spent Grain: Chicken IPA White Cheddar,Chicken - Shandy Beer Flavored

A test is underway in Chicago now.