Tyson Foods, Inc. TSN's CEO Tom Hayes, in Florida at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference, spoke with CNBC Tuesday about the meat processor's innovation and M&A strategy.
What You Need To Know
Tyson Foods continues to build itself on a base of "fantastic new products" that were introduced in 2017 and has multiple products in its pipeline that will be introduced soon, Hayes said during CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" segment.
Beyond products in its own pipeline, Tyson Foods is still on the lookout for M&A deals, which "can add a lot of value," Hayes said. Valuations in the food sector remain elevated, so the company will be "disciplined" in its approach, the CEO said. Tyson Foods remains the only company within the consumer packaged group that is growing, so any deal will need to ensure this trend continues, he said.
"There are a lot of names that come up who are a very attractive acquirer," Hayes said. "So what we will focus on is not necessarily individual companies, but what the best combination will be for us. There are a lot of companies that are out there but not ones that necessarily fit with our strategy, which is to sustainably feed the world with the fastest-growing protein brands."
The entire food industry is grappling with higher transportation costs due to tight capacity in the trucking industry. This is a concern that "everyone is going to have deal with in one form or another," but the cost ultimately needs to be passed along to the consumer, Hayes said.
The executive said higher prices would likely be accepted by consumers given Tyson's strong brand image and value proposition. Consumers continue to demand protein and the trend isn't stopping anytime soon, Hayes told CNBC.
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