by Max Brantley
I happen to have a source inside an investors conference at a ritzy hotel in Florida today where consumer product companies pitch their story to major investors, hedge fund managers and such.
The picture gives an indication of who was filling the center of the plate at tonight's dinner. Tyson meats had the honor.
Tyson was also much discussed at the dinner tables, our source reports. But not for the chicken breasts. Table talk everywhere was about the recently reported theft of a briefcase containing $140,000-plus in cash from Tyson boss John Tyson's home.
Speculation ran the gamut.
Nobody seemed to be my buying my idea that it's just Tyson's version of a loose change jar.
UPDATE: Wednesday morning, another report from the investors' conference, this from talk at the breakfast buffet line. It's on the jump
FROM FLORIDA INVESTORS MEET
This morning's breakfast was sponsored by Kellogg...I went down to get as much schwag as possible (Nutrigrain bars, Special K, Pop-Tarts - with whole grain, Cheese Nips, etc) and ended up deciding to have some delicious Morningstar Farm vegetarian meats for breakfast. You know, soysage, fake-on, the like. Anyway, found myself in line behind three Tyson Investor Relations harpies - looked straight out of Dallas - who at first wanted to rat out Kellogg to the USDA for some supposed violation (they didn't realize the soysage had no meat) and then, after, discovering it was vegetarian, started loudly mocking the products. It was like nightmares of junior high all over again.
"You know what would make this better? If there were real bacon in it" [cackle] "Look! It's the new Beggin' Strips" [cackle] "I wouldn't eat one of those if you dared me." "Ok, I dare you." "Ok, only if you eat the bacon" [cackle]
Jeez. And to think they don't even compete against Kellogg. Would hate to see what they have to say about the nice folks at Smithfield.