Tyson Innovation Lab developed and launched its first brand,¡YAPPAH!, in just 6 months — which is unheard of when it comes to big brands. ¡YAPPAH! is a mission-driven snack made from upcycled proteins, rescued vegetables and spent brewer grains. The product signals a new approach for Tyson, as it aims to address sustainability challenges in order to disrupt itself internally.
Brand Manager Santi Proano joined us at our Rethinking CPG Meetup this past August to share insight on Tyson Innovation Lab’s product development process and greatest challenges operating as a startup within a large packaged goods company.
For ¡YAPPAH!, the first step to rethinking CPG was unlearning. Rather than playing by traditional industry standards, the innovation team embraced ideas from marketing and brought the product to market within six months. Instead of launching nationally, ¡YAPPAH! started small by crowdfunding and entering a select few markets.
The innovation lab operated under a single leader across function, allowing for quick alignment and decision making. Tyson also ensured that leadership for direction was available at the highest levels. The team applied the five-day design sprint typically used by technology companies for developing software, modifying the process for a food CPG company to rapidly create its product and brand. In order to tackle food waste internally, the innovation team opted to speak to a spectrum of people who did and didn’t care about food waste, rather than relying on brainstorms and focus groups. By doing so, it learned that tackling food waste was about rescuing forgotten ingredients, and chefs were key to applying a lens to ingredients that would otherwise being disposed of.
You can see videos of other presenters at our Food+Tech Meetups here.