Tyson Foods is making a renewed push in chicken, the protein that got it where it is today but where its performance has been slipping.
Tyson’s chicken business had an operating loss of $625 million for the last fiscal year, and earnings and profits from chicken have been down for the last five years, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Even though Tyson processes some one-fifth of the U.S. chicken supply, beef has been carrying the company in recent years. Chicken operations now face rising costs for grain and other supplies, labor problems, and other issues.
Donnie King, who became CEO last year, is making a return to profitability for the chicken business a priority. His steps include spending $1.3 billion on automation for chicken processing lines and phasing out some breeds of chicken that have underperformed after being introduced to the company’s hatcheries.
“We’ve not been where we want to be from a performance perspective, from an execution perspective,” King told the Journal.