- Tyson Foods has quit making its Yappah brand of bite-sized protein crisps sourced from leftover chicken breast trim, vegetable puree, juice pulp and Molson Coors spent grain. A message posted on the brand's website noted it was shutting down, and that "the team decided that the product did not offer the viability that would enable continued investment."
- In a statement sent to Food Dive, a Tyson spokesperson said Yappah was part of the company's disruptive innovation model. However, it added, "[w]e have decided not to move forward with it at this time for a variety of reasons, including overall viability. Food waste is still a focus for us."
- Six recent reviews of the protein crisps on Amazon.com were mixed, with some customers lauding the concept and the taste, and others panning the packaging and the price. Two mentioned concerns about being cut by the product's recyclable aluminum can.
Tyson launched the upcycled Yappah protein crisps in May 2018 as the first brand to emerge from its Tyson Innovation Lab. The lab's aim was to bring new consumer products to market within six months, and it used the crowd-funding platform Indiegogo to help make that happen.
The Indiegogo campaign raised $13,542 from 456 people, which the brand called "a huge success," enabling it to open an online store to sell the product after a 90-day trial starting in July 2018 at one Chicago supermarket. The company said the name Yappah was taken from a tradition in South America known as "yapa," meaning something extra an important customer gets so nothing is wasted.
Despite the snacks's branding that focused on important consumer issues such as reducing food waste and sustainability, the product did not gain enough traction to continue production. While the company's statement was vague in its reasons to discontinue the snack, a look at the Amazon reviews may point to some potential issues.
One commenter mentioned, it was a "nice idea, poor execution," while another said the company "sacrificed function for the message." While many consumers are willing to spend more for more sustainable products, the price point might have been too high for a newly launched product. On Amazon, a 6-pack of 1.25-ounce cans cost nearly $22, and the suggested retail price was $2.99 for a single-serve can. As one reviewer said, "I think the product is delicious, but they’ve priced it as a competitor to beef jerky rather than chips."
While Yappah did not resonate, this is unlikely to deter other CPG companies from introducing products made from upcycled ingredients because food waste continues to be a global problem that remains top of mind for consumers. Manufacturers tapping into the trend could see significant savings from helping to reduce the problem, and investors are showing increasing interest in funding related projects.
It may be that concepts using upcycled food ingredients need a little more time in development and testing before being introduced to maximize consumer acceptance. While time to market is always a concern, this may be one segment where a longer ramp-up period might result in greater value down the road.