Brave Commerce Podcast: Pioneering Retail Innovation

Tyson Foods’ Wendy Jean Bennett on the complexities of modern-day commerce

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In this episode of Brave Commerce, Wendy Jean Bennett, vice president of retail commerce leadership at Tyson Foods, joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to offer a deep dive into the complexities of modern-day commerce, sharing insights into the evolving landscape of retail, consumer behavior shifts and strategic considerations for growth.

Jean Bennett’s role at Tyson Foods is described as encompassing not only traditional retail and ecommerce, but also integrating insights and category management. Her extensive background in food service brings a unique perspective to the table, emphasizing the importance of understanding broader market dynamics beyond direct competitors. She discusses the concept of “share of stomach,” highlighting how Tyson’s products compete not only with other protein providers, but also with takeout, restaurants and alternative food products like protein bars.

The conversation then delves into various aspects of commerce, including the blurring lines between food service and retail, the impact of changing consumer preferences, and the challenges of online visibility and competition. Jean Bennett addresses the need for companies to adapt to the shifting landscape by expanding their international footprint, understanding consumer segments and leveraging data-driven insights for strategic decision-making.

Throughout the discussion, Jean Bennett’s passion for the industry and commitment to mentoring the next generation of leaders shines through. She delves into the challenges facing the industry, such as the increasing polarization of consumer preferences and the competitive pressures of online visibility. She also shares personal experiences and valuable advice, emphasizing the importance of self-advocacy, seeking feedback and distinguishing between mentorship and sponsorship.

Key takeaways:

  • Extend beyond direct competitors to diverse market offerings.
  • All brands face omnichannel demands and thus need omnichannel solutions.
  • Advocate for personal growth and seek mentorship opportunities.