- Tyson Foods will be launching a functional, refrigerated snack line under the Pact brand later this year, according to Nosh.
- Although the snacks are currently in the preliminary test phase, there are four flavors planned: Gut Instinct featuring probiotics; Gut Ahead with turmeric and prebiotics; Glow With It featuring collagen; and Vibe On, which has omega-3, magnesium and matcha.
- The product's website doesn't directly state Tyson’s involvement in product development, but the company is named on the terms and conditions and privacy pages. Tyson also filed for a trademark earlier this year, claiming that the Pact brand could be used for snacks, dietary supplements and meal kits, Nosh reported.
Tyson produces 1 in 5 pounds of all chicken, beef, and pork in the U.S., according to its website. Despite its foothold in the protein market, Tyson has been looking elsewhere in recent years to continue its growth, and Pact is the latest step in that direction.
Although launches of products like Hillshire Snacking Small Plates are complementary to Tyson Foods' traditional portfolio, the company has been branching out to focus more on snacking. Tyson opened an innovation lab in Chicago two years ago to help the 88-year old company go even farther and adopt the startup mentality it is trying to emulate.
So far, the lab has developed a few products. One is a protein crisp called ¡Yappah! that incorporates Tyson chicken trim with ingredients that would otherwise be left behind — like vegetable puree and pulp from juicing, and spent grains from beer giant Molson Coors. The company also partnered with Flashfood to launch a 90-day pilot in Detroit in which Tyson provided proteins that were safe to eat but not suitable for sale in U.S. grocery stores, such as improperly cut chicken breasts or sausage packages.
¡Yappah! has seen some success in the market. The chicken crisps launched a fourth flavor after the original product announcement and are sold on Amazon Fresh.
The Pact brand fits right into consumer trends. Not only have consumers steadily been increasing their rate of snacking — at the expense of the traditional three square meals a day — but more consumers are looking for food that does more for their health than simply fill their stomachs. A white paper from ingredients company Kerry indicated 65% of consumers seek functional benefits from their food and drink. The global functional ingredients market is expected to reach nearly $100 million by 2025, according to Zion Market Research.
The top five ingredients participants in the Kerry study consumed for their benefits were omega-3s, green tea, honey, coffee and probiotics. Tyson's Pact hits three out of those five, and throws in some more established functional favorites like turmeric, ginger and blueberries for good measure.
The plan is to release these functional snacks in a similar manner to ¡Yappah! chips with a crowdfunding platform launch expected later this year. If the product is received in a similar manner by the public, there is a good chance that the Pact bites will become a familiar sight on store shelves. But Tyson is going to face some stiff competition in the functional snacking category. From bars and shakes to various snacks, this is a crowded space that has attracted a lot of health-conscious consumers.
Beyond these new product launches, there are clear indications that Tyson is looking further outside its protein portfolio. The company announced last month that it plans to roll out a new brand in late summer called Raised & Rooted, which includes plant-based nuggets made from a blend of pea protein isolate. Now, it is operating a new plant-based, functional snacking brand in a launch that isn't direct about its association with the product. This indicates the company is seriously looking at reimagining its portfolio and could be wondering if its name —typically associated with protein — influences whether consumers are interested in its products.