As a growth company with protein packed brands and broad innovation capabilities, Tyson Foods Inc. states that it occupies a unique space among the top U.S. food companies.

“We believe we are fundamentally different than other food companies,” Sally Grimes, Tyson’s group president, prepared foods, told investors at the annual Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference. Grimes said competing effectively in growing spaces has been a primary driver for Tyson Foods.

“Protein has risen to the top of all desired health attributes in food,” she said. “The volume growth for high protein food looks a lot different than growth for food in general. We bring differentiated capabilities to this growth space. We add value, by building brands and innovating continuously in categories consumers want and in categories customers are focused on.”

Grimes said the raw, chilled and freshly prepared foods in the perimeter of the store have become “retail’s growth frontier” as consumers seek fresh, less processed foods, ease and simplicity.

“The perimeter of the store – and what it represents – is the center of our business,” she said. “Our sales growth in the perimeter is 70 basis points ahead of the categories in which we compete and 270 basis points ahead of the total perimeter. A mix advantage and a performance advantage are powerful tailwinds propelling us toward continued growth.”

Tom Hayes, Tyson Foods’ president and chief executive officer, said the company is on track for another record year for earnings as it nears the end of its 2017 fiscal year. “Looking to fiscal 2018, we expect topline sales growth of about 6 percent to approximately $41 billion as we grow volume, improve our sales mix to higher value products and benefit from a full year of AdvancePierre Foods in our portfolio.”

Hayes said sustainability will play a key role in the company’s strategy. “We will work hand in hand with some of the world’s best thought leaders and problem solvers to drive change and develop science-based targets for improvement as we simultaneously solve for healthier food, healthier animals, a healthier environment, a healthier workplace and healthier communities. In doing this, we’ll earn the right to a healthier bottom line.”

Hayes said the company has generated momentum in its sustainability efforts this year, and continued progress will be made through strong business performance, financial fitness and the ability for sustainability initiatives to fund themselves over time.

“We expect to grow volume, sales, profits and our people,” Hayes said. “By delivering results and improving continuously, we’ll sustain the company and the world for future generations.”

Source: Tyson Foods Inc.