Tyson Foods has expanded its organic food offering with the acquisition of Tecumseh Poultry for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition includes Tecumseh Poultry’s Smart Chicken brand.

Tecumseh Poultry was established in 1998 and is engaged in the production of fresh, air-chilled chicken, as well as deli-style chicken and chicken sausages.

The company’s air-chilling process uses cold air to cool chicken during processing, as opposed to water chilling, which is currently the most commonly used method by the US chicken industry.

“Tyson Foods brings to the Smart Chicken brand, and the rest of our product lines, the resources to make us even stronger.”

Both methods are approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and monitored by its inspectors.

Tyson Foods Poultry chief marketing officer Eric Schwartz said: “Consumers want choices. More and more consumers want options for fresh, organic food that fits their lifestyles.

“The Smart Chicken brand is a leader in this key organic category, and the category’s growth makes this acquisition a strategic fit for Tyson Foods.”

Tecumseh Poultry operates two plants in Tecumseh and Waverly, Nebraska, in addition to its live operations.

Tyson Foods will manage Tecumseh Poultry as a fully owned subsidiary and is planning to retain its workforce of almost 600 employees, which comprises operations staff, sales teams and management personnel.

Tecumseh president Kevin Siebert said: “We’ve spent 18 years working to perfect our ability to produce the highest-quality, fresh chicken in the US.

“We’re very proud of that, and it’s not going to change.

“Tyson Foods brings to the Smart Chicken brand, and the rest of our product lines, the resources to make us even stronger.”

The Smart Chicken brand is expected to complement Tyson Foods’ organic products, including the NatureRaised Farms and Aidells brands.

D.A. Davidson & Co acted as financial adviser to Tecumseh Poultry for the deal.