Weakened Chicken Demand Pummels Tyson

fried chicken on stainless steel tray, tyson foods, chiquita, dole, gotham greens, kroger

Tyson Foods’ first quarter earnings missed Wall Street estimates as improved beef and pork supplies weakened demand for chicken, the company said. And chief financial officer John R. Tyson said the next quarter also will likely be tough.

“We got hit in the mouth in Q1 because of all the protein on the market,” CEO Donnie King told analysts, adding executives were surprised by the quantity of beef and pork available, Reuters reported (Feb. 6). “This is the first time I’ve seen all markets work against us, all at the same time.”

Tyson said domestic chicken supplies were greater than expected as avian influenza prompted export restrictions. Cattle producers reduced their herds during the quarter because of drought in the West and consumers exhibited “unusual, erratic” shopping behavior.

Tyson sales were up compared to the same quarter last year – $13.26 million versus $12.93 million – but  earnings were drastically lower at 88 cents per share versus $3.07.

In other news:

Chiquita buys Dole: Chiquita Holdings Ltd. purchased Dole’s fresh vegetable business for $293 million to expand Chiquita’s Fresh Express offerings. The deal is contingent on regulatory approval. Dole’s Fresh Vegetables Division, which operates four processing plants in the U.S. and has agricultural operations, reported revenue of $1.28 billion in the year ending Dec. 31, 2021. “The anticipated cost savings from this combination will help partially mitigate the recent period of inflationary pressures experienced throughout the produce, food, and beverage sectors of the economy,” Chiquita Chairman Jose Luis Catrale said.

Gotham Greens: Kroger Co. is expanding its collaboration with indoor farming operation Gotham Greens, planning to put the produce in 1,000 stores by the end of 2023, the company said. Gotham Greens’ produce is sold in more than 300 stores. Plans also include expansion of Gotham Greens’ plant-based dips, cooking sauces, and dressings. “Gotham Greens’ state-of-the-art, climate-controlled greenhouses reduce the number of days the products spend between harvest and our store shelves, while removing unpredictable weather challenges and improving product quality and shelf life. These factors ultimately reduce food waste, both in stores and in consumers’ homes,” Dan De La Rosa, Kroger’s group vice president of fresh merchandising, said in a press release.

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