I did a genuine double take when I read this article last week. Tyson Foods announced it would begin introducing chicken as a morning alternative in the hopes it would become a staple right alongside bacon and sausage. Yeah, sure. “Ah, miss? Hold the eggs over easy with bacon. I’m in the mood for a juicy chicken instead.”
The move comes in spite of the fact that, according to the NPD Group, only four percent of Americans currently eat chicken for breakfast during an average two-week period. The vast majority of consumers, like me, prefer chicken at lunch (55 percent) or dinner (82 percent), respectively.
Nonetheless, Tyson’s is bullish about its seemingly nonsensical move. A spokesperson said, “Consumers are looking for more breakfast options.” Well, perhaps. But, chicken at sunrise? Why not meat loaf instead?
I must admit Tyson’s two new offerings do sound scrumptious: chicken sausage links with bits of apple and maple flavored chicken patties. Mouth-watering, no? I think I’d select a Pinot Grigio to accompany the links and a Sancerre to add a little zest to the patties.
I realize that desperate times call for desperate measures, but this smacks of Tyson’s doing what Tyson’s thinks is right (as opposed to listening to what the customer has clearly indicated they prefer).
Business books are chock full of examples of companies that preferred giving the customer what the marketer wanted as opposed to what the audience desired and paid the price (Think: J.C. Penney’s, Blockbuster and Wet Seal, to name just a few).
I may be proven wrong, but if I were at the helm of Tyson I wouldn’t try to sell a product or push a time slot that consumers have already made clear won’t work. Talk about swimming against the tide.