8 Protein Options to Drive Foodservice

Rising prices and a debate about what constitutes “real” beef have put the entree/protein category in the spotlight recently.

On the product classification front, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to “exclude from the definition of ‘beef’ and ‘meat’ products not derived directly from animals that are raised and slaughtered.” In essence, the organization is claiming there’s fake beef making the rounds.

The effort stems from non-North American meatpackers that the Washington, D.C.-based Cattlemen’s Association said “have invested heavily in creating alternative products that may resemble in appearance and taste beef products, including synthetic and beef grown in laboratories and thus are not derived from animals born, raised and harvested in the traditional manner,” according to a group statement.

Regarding prices, Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods reported that rising freight and labor costs could spell higher meat prices for U.S. consumers, according to a February MarketWatch report.

The increase stems from a nationwide shortage of trucks and drivers—adding $200 million to Tyson’s costs this year, said CEO Tom Hayes. “Ultimately, consumers are going to pay for it at some point,” he said.

Tyson’s first-quarter revenue rose 11%, fueled by a 21% increase in prepared-food sales. Its purchase of Cincinnati-based sandwich maker AdvancePierre Foods in 2017 provided a $325 million boost to results.

Here’s a look at beef, chicken and pork offerings that have rolled out recently.

tyson red label all natural

Tyson’s Red Label Chicken With No Antibiotics Ever line features popular chicken products and flavor profiles in tiered options so operators can better manage food costs and menu quality. There are 64 products in the line, including fillets, patties, chicken strips and boneless wings. All Tyson chicken is transitioning to being raised without antibiotics. Also available are 100% all-natural selections.

big az sriracha chicken

The Sriracha Grilled Chicken sandwich recently joined Tyson’s AdvancePierre Big AZ line. It’s offered in two package options: hand-wrapped white quilted paper with a window for product viewing (designed for the hot case) and clear, printed film for merchandising in a cold case.

tyson and hillshire farm authentically crafted

The Tyson and Hillshire Farm Authentically Crafted Exceptional Meats is a multiprotein portfolio of all-natural products that include Hillshire Farm All Natural Rough Cut Pork.

gold n' plump

St. Cloud, Minn.-based Gold’n Plump added two new attributes to its all-natural chicken products: “no antibiotics-ever” and the American Humane Certified seal. All remaining Gold’n Plump value-added retail, deli and foodservice products will transition to the new attributes by the end of 2019.

sanderson farms chicken

Antibiotic-free chickens made up an average of 40.5% of all fresh U.S. production for the first 10 months of 2017, Laurel, Miss.-based Sanderson Farms said in a regulatory filing. However, only 6.4% of sales were for products sold as antibiotic-free, according to Sanderson, the third-largest U.S. poultry producer. Sanderson’s on-site veterinary staff carefully monitors flock health and developments on a daily basis while nutritionists guarantee chickens get vitamins, minerals and protein.

perdue simply smart

Salisbury, Md.-based Perdue Farms eliminated the routine use of antibiotics in its chicken in 2016. The Perdue Simply Smart lineup offers “flavor you can feel good about. Made with chickens raised with no antibiotics ever and fed an all vegetarian diet, we believe in better chicken,” according to the company website.

advance pierre bbq pork rib

Featuring a pork rib patty, the AdvancePierre BBQ Pork Rib is designed for roller-grill programs and features a tender, meaty texture that’s infused with the manufacturer’s proprietary blend of sweet and tangy barbecue seasonings and sauce, the company said. Calling it a step up from a traditional hot dog and designed to attract repeat customers following impulse purchases, according to the manufacturer, the roller-grill Pork Rib has a 14-day refrigerated and 12-month frozen shelf life.

jimmy dean southern style chicken biscuit

Tyson Convenience is now offering a Jimmy Dean Southern Style Chicken Biscuit that features tender white meat chicken. Designed for convenience stores with proprietary packaging, Jimmy Dean Southern Style Chicken Biscuit delivers superior performance with a four-hour hot hold.