Protein Farmers Changing the Landscape of our Food System

Poultry farmers in the United States face an ever-evolving host of issues today: the use of antibiotics, animal welfare concerns, sustainability, proper waste management—and all while trying to make a profit.

Chicken has a relatively small carbon footprint when compared to other meats, and the concept is not showing any signs of slowing in terms of customer popularity. According to Foodable Labs, chicken has seen consumer demand for chicken inclusion on menus rise by 19.8 percent, and chefs have added chicken to menus by a rate of 23.9 percent.

Protein Consumer Sentiment Ranking

Chicken is second only to plant-based meat—an exploding industry—in terms of consumer sentiment. But consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of the food that they are eating, and the methods in which food is grown or raised. For all of the benefits of chicken, those benefits can be lost or lessened if the chicken is mishandled or mistreated.

Tyson Foods is working to make poultry farming efficient and affordable while still adhering to best animal well-being practices and its high standards for food quality. The corporation currently contracts over 4,000 independent poultry farmers, and pays over $800 million each year for their services. Jacque, a current poultry farmer in contract with Tyson, has loved her and her husband’s years of working with Tyson.

“Some of the best blessings we have is from farming,” says Jacque. “We think Tyson represents quality, it represents hard work. It represents animal welfare and everyone working together to advocate for a healthy happy animal.”

“There’s nothing factory farm about our farm,” adds Jacque. “This is a family farm. It’s how we make a living, and it’s how we teach important values to our children. There’s nothing factory about it.”

On average, contracted Tyson Foods poultry farmers have worked with the corporation for over fifteen years. Contracts are generally negotiated to last at least three to seven years.

Contract farming at Tyson Foods gives farmers peace of mind: their compensation is not at the behest of the rise and fall of corn, soybean, and other chicken feeding ingredients. Tyson exclusively provides all of the feed farmers need. Poultry farmer compensation is instead determined based on how the chickens are cared for and overall bird weight gain.

Most major poultry processing companies use a similar performance-based pay program. And according to a 2014 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, contract poultry farmers have a higher median income when compared to other farm households.

Poultry farmer contracts are highly regulated at the federal level to ensure farmers’ rights are protected. All contracted poultry farmers have the right to:

  • end a contract with 90 days notice

  • a 90 day notice of contract termination from the processor

  • join an association of farmers

  • seek the advice and counsel of outside parties regarding their contract.

Tyson Foods also offers a program for struggling farmers to help improve their performance and avoid the need for contract termination.

Poultry farmers contracted by Tyson Foods must also—pre-contract—fulfill a list of modern housing specifications to ensure proper ventilation and a comfortable bird living environment. Maintenance concerns and necessary repairs must also be completed in a timely manner. Any technical or animal management problems are handled by Tyson Foods service technicians and animal welfare specialists.

This post is brought to you by Tyson Foods. To see more content like this, visit The Modern Chef Network.

Tyson Chicken Chips are Packed with Protein, Flavor, and Possibility

Customers are increasingly asking restaurant operators for the same thing: a creative, tasteful meal that is rich in protein and flexible enough to enjoy regardless of whether it is ordered in a restaurant or at home for delivery.

Tyson Foods has a solution: Tyson chicken chips. Dippable, scoopable, shareable, and loadable, these chips are simply fun. Suitable for salads and appetizers as well as full entrees, Tyson chicken chips have that homey, familiar look that many customers love while still providing them with the nutrition they need.

Tyson chicken chips include ranch and smoky barbecue flavoring options. Recipe possibilities are truly endless, though check out the video above for a few recipes currently popular with customers, including a southwest-style entree, a buffalo-inspired appetizer, and a delicious caesar salad option. The chips can be as healthy or indulgent as you prefer.

Regardless of your selected recipe, Tyson chicken chips are easy to prepare. They are heated from frozen by either deep frying or baking the chips in an oven until they appear a crispy golden brown. The process typically takes no longer than five minutes, making the chicken chips a quick, flexible option for both your customers and your employees.

This post is brought to you by Tyson Foods. To see more content like this, visit The Modern Chef Network.

Produced by:

Darisha Beresford

Darisha Beresford

Production Manager / Sr. Producer

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How Hot Chicken Takeover is Reinventing the Fast Casual Experience

“Our mission is clear now — simply put, we want to keep creating extraordinary experiences for extraordinary people,” says Joe DeLoss.

On this episode of Emerging Brands, Joe DeLoss—the founder of fast casual restaurant chain Hot Chicken Takeover—discusses bringing Nashville-style fried chicken to Columbus, Ohio. Inspired by Nashville restaurant favorites Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and Monell’s, Joe DeLoss decided to create his own hot chicken restaurant chain.

Monell’s had family-style southern meals every day of the week,” says DeLoss. “You would join a table with ten other people, and I fell in love with the communal experience. Most guests walking into a fast casual restaurant don’t remember being called out or greeted—our question was, how do we build the infrastructure of our restaurant around recreating that communal experience for our guests and employees?”

Over the last decade, Joe DeLoss has worked in a number of industries in an effort to create employment opportunities for people experiencing or who have experienced incarceration, homelessness, and other hardships. Founded in 2014, Hot Chicken Takeover has become a breakout brand in the Midwest. The chain boasts an excellent employee retention rate and an ever-growing customer base.

In this podcast, DeLoss details his retention and employee development goals as well as the core values of the fast casual chain.

The Hot Chicken Takeover team endeavors to operate from a place of “bold humility” in everything they do. “We listen to everything we hear and take it very seriously. Our goal is to acknowledge and address trends that our customers are experiencing before they become large problems,” explains DeLoss. “We know that we can always improve, and we’re unwilling to get in the way of progress. We measure an employee’s performance against that.”

Listen to the above podcast to learn more about the future of Hot Chicken Takeover, and check out our Emerging Brands podcast to hear from other rising leaders in the restaurant industry. You can also download the Top 150 Emerging Brands Guide to check out the full list of emerging brands from Foodable Labs.

This post is brought to you by Tyson Foods. To learn more, visit The Modern Chef Network.

Tyson Foods Launches New Content Network in Partnership with Foodable Network

In today's rapidly moving digital climate, restaurant brands are trying to stay ahead of the game to catch the attention of the ever so restless consumer. 

Devices are now inundated with ads from brands. While these touchpoints will likely remain part of marketing strategies, a smart marketer realizes that quality trumps quantity. 

With that in mind, content marketing is king. 

Creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to a restaurant consumer makes much more of an ever-lasting connection. It's not about pushing a brand logo or inserting ads, instead, it's about sharing compelling stories and information that connects with your customers, while also entertaining and educating them on topics of interest. 

According to a recent "Content Marketing Institute" report, 91 percent of B2B marketers reach customers by utilizing this type of strategy. 

But this should be done carefully. As "Thrive Global" says it's okay to break the rules. Rule #1 for example, "create content that is aligned with your product or service." It's okay to branch out and cover other unique topics too. Would your audience find this interesting? This doesn't mean you should be covering a recap of the latest Game of Thrones episode. But if you can spin the topic to be more relevant to your business it’s the type content that will attract clicks. 

Since customers are so tired of ads, it's time to get creative with your content marketing. 

"A report by "PageFair" and "Adobe" shows that more than 198 million people around the world use ad blockers. You need to use educational messages along with promotional ones and approach your consumers tactfully," writes "Thrive Global." "You can strategically place your propositions in your content. For example, if you don’t include a CTA (Call to Action), some consumers will never make a move."

So which brands are ahead of the curve when it comes to this marketing strategy? 

Tyson Foods is taking content marketing to the next level. In partnership with Foodable Network, the brand is launching The Modern Chef Network. 

The Modern Chef Network will offer tools operators need to compete. The platform will be dedicated to delivering ideas, innovations, research, and insights designed specifically for the foodservice operator across a multitude of business sectors.

"B2B content marketing is the most effective way to deliver a message in today's crowded digital space, it used to be a simple social media post, but today operators are seeking more video, podcast, and research and expect their partners to deliver more than just a product. A handful of companies are moving fast to create new direct to operator communication and education platforms like The Modern Chef Network from Tyson Foods. The Modern Chef is an advanced "on-demand" platform that features video, podcasts, research, product demos as well as original stories," said Paul Barron, editor-in-chief and executive producer of Foodable Network. "We are betting on a whole new breed of food suppliers and operators alike to move to more efficient ways to reach and influence those that matter to their business. I expect B2B Content marketing to consume more than 50% of marketing budgets by 2020."

Check out The Modern Chef Network.