Tyson Foods COO Jim Lochner has predicted a continued decline in the amount of protein available to US consumers for the foreseeable future.

Lochner made his remarks at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Global Agriculture Conference yesterday (1 March).

"We are operating in a different world than we were a few years ago," Lochner said. "After decades of steady growth, US per capita consumption of protein declined 11% from the peak in 2006, a trend that is likely to continue."

However, he added: "Tyson has a broad portfolio of products that can help our customers grow. We don't just sell meat in a box. We provide innovation and food solutions to our customers and consumers, and that is what differentiates us from our competitors."

Also yesterday, the US meat giant announced a "multi-million dollar" investment to improve operations at its beef plant in Nebraska.