This case describes the first investment decision of Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods—the largest protein producer in the United States and one of the largest in the world. Throughout its history, Tyson shifted from producing raw protein to processing protein products and grew significantly, both organically as well as through acquisitions. Tyson Ventures aimed to invest in promising food startups related to sustainability and the case explores four possible investment strategies: plant-based proteins, lab-grown proteins, edible insect proteins, and traditional agriculture investments. Each option has implications for Tyson’s operations and profitability, stakeholder perceptions, and sustainability goals. Students will analyze how established corporations in traditional industries, like food, are being disrupted by technology and innovations.
Tyson Foods and Alternative Proteins: Where to Invest for Sustainable Growth?
by: Andrew Hoffman
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After reading and discussing the material, students should:
- Analyze what signals an investment might send to various stakeholders.
- Understand the value chain of animal-based protein production and how alternative sources of protein may disrupt the meat industry.
- Evaluate the future of the food and protein industry.
- Determine the extent to which a company's sustainability goals play into strategic decisions.