Tyson Foods acquires Smart Chicken, headquartered in Waverly

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WAVERLY, Neb. -- Meat industry giant Tyson Foods beefed up its organic chicken production by acquiring Tecumseh Poultry LLC, which includes Smart Chicken.

Tecumseh Poultry was founded in 1998 and has plants in Tecumseh and Waverly.

According to Tyson Foods, the company plans to operate Tecumseh poultry as a separate subsidiary and retain its 600 staff members.

“Consumers want choices. More and more consumers want options for fresh, organic food that fits their lifestyles,” said Eric Schwartz, chief marketing officer of Poultry for Tyson Foods. “The Smart Chicken brand is a leader in this key organic category, and the category’s growth makes this acquisition a strategic fit for Tyson Foods.”

According to Nielsen’s Perishables data, organic fresh chicken grew sales volume by 8.6 percent from 2016 to 2017, more than four times the rate of conventional poultry. Tecumseh Poultry’s processing capabilities and its focus on quality have given the Smart Chicken brand a leading position in the fastest-growing U.S. category of fresh chicken.

“This is a well-run company with a solid customer base that’s earned consumer loyalty. We’re excited for Tecumseh to continue to produce quality chicken while providing the business the scale and resources it needs to continue growing,” said Doug Ramsey, group president of Poultry for Tyson Foods. “Customers should continue to work with existing contacts.”

The acquisition helps Tyson become one of the nation's largest leading producers of organic chicken.