One-on-One With Tyson Fresh Meats' Kent Harrison

Kent Harrison is VP of marketing and premium programs for Tyson Fresh Meats.

Jon Springer: Welcome to the Breakroom, Kent. Let’s begin by telling us what VP of marketing and premium programs does at Tyson?

Kent Harrison: This is a position that touches every facet of our business operations at Fresh Meats. My team and I are responsible for providing marketing support for Fresh Meats’ go-to-market positioning as “the Beef & Pork Experts.” We’re also responsible for all boxed beef and boxed pork brands, our Chairman’s Reserve Premium Meats and Open Prairie Natural Meats; our Portioned Protein Innovations, or case-ready and value-added products; international sales; and foodservice sales.

Our efforts span across multiple distribution segments: retail, foodservice, manufacturing and e-commerce. We have a separate BBQ marketing initiative that provides content and marketing support across all of our promotional areas as applicable.

The marketing team at Tyson Fresh Meats strives to be a dynamic force for our sales and operations teams, identifying and providing solutions for consumer and customer needs, driving incremental demand and charting a strategic course for long-term program and product line success.

In the words of Tyson CEO Noel White, 2020 has been the most “volatile and uncertain” period for Tyson in 40 years. How did COVID change what you did in your role?

Working from home is a whole new experience for me. I miss the richness of interaction with other team members in a face-to-face setting. I’ve found that we are every bit as effective operating in a remote working environment, but it takes added effort and new approaches to create a positive, engaging team culture. Luckily for marketing, most work can be done in the world of digital communication, which has helped.

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