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Support for Small Chains/Independents: Tyson Foods

Support for Small Chains/Independents: Tyson Foods

There is much untapped potential in the deli prepared food world. Especially considering that only 2% of the shopper base is responsible for 80% of prepared food purchases in deli.

• Developed online information platforms that empower small chains and independents to build their business.
• Grew its category management reach to more than 29,000 stores.
• Tools like the Deli Mix Calculator help retailers optimize their product mix and pricing based on cost, sales and margin goals.

There is much untapped potential in the deli prepared food world. Especially considering that only 2% of the shopper base is responsible for 80% of prepared food purchases in deli.

That statistic has spurred the Tyson Deli Prepared Foods team, a division of Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ark., to use online communications to tap potential business and drive more sales, especially for independent grocers who do not get attention and resources provided big regional chains by suppliers.

Tyson launched two distinct websites:, directed specifically to small chains and independent retailers, went live in 2010., a consumer website designed to engage and inspire deli shoppers, went live in January. Both sites are devoted to selling mostly chicken. But Tyson is ramping up its offering with deli meats.

The trade website was designed “to put tools in the hands of retailers to go out and build their business,” explained Eric LeBlanc, director of sales development for the deli prepared food team. The consumer website was designed “to put information in the hands of consumers on how to use the deli for more meal ideas and access to meal solutions that deliver on quality, freshness and value,” he added.

The trade website has allowed Tyson to grow its category management reach in deli to more than 29,000 stores, mostly independents.

The site provides in-store deli professionals with multiple resources, including:

• Consumer insights from Tyson Deli’s proprietary consumer research and surveys.

• Tyson product information, including usage trends and point-of-sale data illustrating the type of consumer that purchases each product, how much they buy and what strategies most effectively increase sales.

• Actionable tips, such as “offering an in-stock guarantee on rotisserie chicken during peak periods generated a 10% sales lift for other Tyson retail customers.”

To ensure delis stock the right products and assortment for their customer base, the site has interactive tools such as the Deli Mix Calculator, which helps retailers optimize their product mix and pricing based on their own cost, sales and margin goals.

“With the interactive profitability calculator, store managers and associates can visually comprehend the impact of their own store execution of programs and understand how they can affect those results with the proper displays and space allocation. The calculator enables them to create a plan for their particular store — sales of the items and profit generated. Tyson includes upcoming promotions with supporting materials that individual stores can utilize in support of their efforts with a simple click on the order button,” explained Kathy Brady, vice president of deli-bakery-Starbucks Coffee Bar, Albertsons LLC, Boise, Idaho.

Additional promotion and merchandising support is readily available to retailers on the web portal, including a 52-week promotional calendar, seasonal and flexible promotional POS materials, and an online deli community where professionals can exchange opinions, ask questions and find answers to enhance their deli case.

To date, LeBlanc said the site has received 16,000 unique visitors. Over 400 companies have signed up for Tyson’s Deli Insider newsletter.

“People are coming to the site repeatedly and generally average about three minutes and visit four to five pages,” said LeBlanc. Most popular pages are promotions, shopper insights and deli calculator.

Lipari Foods, Warren, Mich., distributes mainly to independents and smaller chains. Laura Liras, consumer insight manager at Lipari Foods, told SN she uses the site for data and trends to support what is being executed at store level. “It’s very easy to navigate and what makes it different from other CPG sites out there is the amount of information available to the public. You don’t need to sign in or have a special password. You can just get data, trends, marketing, promotions and pictures of different programs. They have everything at your fingertips.”

LeBlanc said the data is for everyone to share, even competitors, because of the conviction that if the whole industry can improve Tyson will get its fair share. is aimed to move the deli shopper base index of 2% up. The site attempts to engage consumers in deli chicken offerings. It has a quiz for consumers to determine their “shopper type.” Based on their type, consumers receive product, promotion and recipe recommendations. Consumers can also search out recipes, new products, special promotions and how-to videos. Visitors can also become involved in social networking with other consumers, play games and become Tyson Deli fans on Facebook and Twitter.

In just five months of operation the website received:

• 6,285 consumer registrants.

• 3,755 community opt-ins to Tyson deli newsletter (reaching more than 50,000 people monthly).

• 193,270 site visits.

• 246 original recipes uploaded by registered consumers.

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