Tyson Foods' CEO Tom Hayes said that despite recent acquisitions, investments and expansions, the country's biggest meat packer is still looking to acquire other companies.
The company has increased wages and is considering how to take advantage of automated and robotic functions at its facilities.
"That's exactly the reason we need to be spending more money on innovation.
Hayes has spent his time as CEO expanding the company's operations beyond its core chicken, beef and pork operations into snacks and other proteins in demand with consumers.
So far, that seems to mean diversification and innovation into prepared foods, plant-based products and cell-cultured meat production, which eliminates both slaughter and the environmental impact of traditional animal agriculture.
Last April, Hayes oversaw the $4.2-billion purchase of AdvancePierre, a maker of ready-to-eat hamburgers, stuffed chicken breasts and other sandwiches supplied to restaurants, hospitals, schools as well as convenience stores and vending machines.