US-based poultry and meat processor Tyson Foods has announced that it is now
producing all of its Tyson brand fresh chicken from birds "raised without antibiotics".

The company said it had made the move in response to consumer demand.

"While we have great confidence in the quality of our traditional chicken, we're also committed to providing mainstream consumers with the kind of products they want," said Tyson Foods president and CEO Richard L. Bond.

"According to our research, 91% of consumers agree it's important to have fresh chicken produced and labelled 'raised without antibiotics'."

The Tyson 100% All Natural, Raised Without Antibiotics chicken has been introduced from this week nationwide. The range has its own newly-designed packaging that highlights that the chicken is raised without antibiotics and contains no artificial ingredients.

Tyson expects to convert its Tyson Deli Rotisserie and Marinated Raw Breaded eight-piece items to Raised Without Antibiotics from early-July and its individually quick frozen chicken by late-August.

Although the Raised Without Antibiotics range will cost more, Tyson's research indicated that the higher price is well below the additional cost consumers say they are willing to pay for such products. The company also pointed out that it will be less expensive than the price of most competing niche brands.

The 100% All Natural, Raised Without Antibiotics chicken will be featured in a US$70m marketing campaign, which includes TV and radio advertising.