If you’ve listened to an investor conference call for a big food company lately, there’s a good chance you know the following:
- Consumers are asking for healthier options and want to understand better where their food comes from.
- The world’s population continues to grow in the face of an increasingly stressed food ecosystem.
- Food brands are increasingly establishing direct relationships with consumers and exploring new business models that represent big departures from traditional food retail.
In short, big food is being forced to think about the future.
Some of the ways they are doing this are through partnerships, incubation and accelerator initiatives and establishing direct investment arms. Tyson Foods is doing all of the above, and one of the people at the heart of the company’s investment efforts is Tom Mastrobuoni, the CFO for Tyson Ventures, our guest for this week’s episode of the Smart Kitchen Show podcast.
One of the things I talk to Tom about Tyson’s recent investment in Tovala. The deal was interesting to me because it was Tyson’s first investment in a connected kitchen and food delivery startup, joining the group’s other investments in clean meat startups Beyond Meat and Memphis Meats.
Tom and I also talk about how Tyson and other companies are thinking about technologies such as AI, Blockchain and much more.