Slim Jim (snack food)

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A packaged Slim Jim snack

Slim Jim is a brand of jerky snacks or dried sausage manufactured by ConAgra Foods, the food conglomerate based in Omaha. They are popular in the United States. More than 500 million are produced annually in at least 20 varieties.[citation needed] The Slim Jim itself has been transformed in the years since Adolph Levis invented it in 1928. He later sold the company in 1967 for about 20 million dollars to General Mills,[1] who moved the operations to Raleigh, N.C., and merged them into other meatpacking operations that it renamed Goodmark Foods. It sold Goodmark in 1982 to a group led by Ron Doggett.[2] ConAgra bought Goodmark in 1998.

The product Levis created is different from the one known today, with Lon Adams developing the current Slim Jim recipe while working for Goodmark.[3] Slim Jim is one example of a food product which is listed as containing mechanically separated chicken in its ingredients by requirement of the USDA.[4]

Production was interrupted after an explosion and fire on June 9, 2009 destroyed the packaging operations of the formerly-sole Garner, North Carolina manufacturing facility, but has since resumed there and in Troy, Ohio.

On May 20, 2011 the facility in Garner, N.C. closed, the same day that former spokesperson "Macho Man" Randy Savage died. [5]

Starting in 2013 most Slim Jim products now contain pork. (As referenced by the ingredients label)

Advertising campaigns[edit]

Until 2000, advertising for the product included commercials that featured late professional wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage, who served as spokesperson. Each commercial would close with Savage bellowing "Need a little excitement? Snap into a Slim Jim!" Other notable spokespersons have included The Ultimate Warrior, Bam Bam Bigelow, Kevin Nash, Vanilla Ice and Edge.

The advertising campaign was developed at North Castle Partners in Greenwich, Connecticut, by Tom Leland and Roger Martensen, under the creative direction of Hal Rosen. The Snap Into A Slim Jim concept was originally intended for comedian Sam Kinison, but he declined. Hal Rosen then suggested using WWF wrestlers, and The Ultimate Warrior was selected for the kickoff spot. In addition to a TV spot, the Ultimate Warrior also recorded several radio commercials for Slim Jim in 1991.

The subsequent campaign featured Slim Jim Guy, a man in a giant Slim Jim costume, proclaiming "Eat me!" These ads personified the irreverent personality of the brand and were also from North Castle Partners.

Slim Jim advertisements were also heavily featured on MTV, ESPN, WWF and Disney Channel. Slim Jim was one of the earliest sponsors of the ASA Pro Tour (the aggressive inline skating tour) from 1997 - 2000.[6] The ASA Pro Tour was a qualifier for ESPN's X Games.

In 2005, Slim Jim advertising featured the Fairy House Mother, described in a ConAgra press release as "a character resembling a tattooed rocker with wings - and a familiar MTV-type of humor young males enjoy."[7]

A recent campaign depicted hunters hunting a fictitious "Snapalope" within convenience stores using urban camouflage. The Snapalope is a deer-like puppet made from Slim Jims.

In 2008, Slim Jim launched a new website, "SpicySide.com", encouraging consumers to get in touch with their "Spicy Side" by creating an avatar and fighting their friends in an online landscape called Spicy Town. Slim Jim also partnered with a well known Machinima artist Myndflame to develop a World of Warcraft parody.

Slim Jim sponsored Bobby Labonte and David Green when they won the NASCAR Busch Series championship in 1991 and 1994, respectively.

The current spokesperson is retired WWE Superstar Edge, who is featured in their current advertising campaign. The commercials feature Edge waiting for various services, accompanied by his "Spicy Side", a mischievous imp version of Edge, who terrorizes everyone after biting a Slim Jim. Prior to Edge, wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage was the Slim Jim spokesperson. For a brief time in 1994-95, when Savage jumped to WCW, Kevin Nash and Bam Bam Bigelow substituted in commercials airing during WWF programming, but Goodmark switched to WCW programs.

Ingredients[edit]

List of Ingredients [8]

Beef

Mechanically separated chicken

Corn and wheat proteins

Lactic acid starter culture

Although ConAgra refers to Slim Jim as a meat stick, it has a lot in common with old-fashioned fermented sausages like salami and pepperoni. They all use bacteria and sugar to produce lactic acid, which lowers the pH of the sausage to around 5.0, firming up the meat.

Dextrose

Salt

Sodium nitrite

Cosmetically, this is added to sausage because it combines with myoglobin in animal muscle to keep it from turning gray.

Hydrolyzed soy

Hydrolysis, in this instance, breaks larger soy protein molecules into their constituent amino acids, such as glutamic acid. Typically, the process also results in glutamic acid salt—also known as monosodium glutamate (MSG), a familiar flavor enhancer.

Slim Jim spinoffs[edit]

Slim Jim has launched several spin-off products of its main brand. These products are often of higher quality than the original slim Jim, using premium meats.[citation needed] Such products include both tender steak strips and beef jerky.[citation needed]

The tender steak strips come in 3 different flavors. Its companion beef jerky comes in 3 flavors, 1 original flavor and 2 spicy flavors. [9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hansell, Saul (March 25, 2001). "Adolph Levis, Entrepreneur And Philanthropist, Dies at 89". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Ron Doggett". NC Business Hall of Fame. North Carolina Business History. 
  3. ^ "Slim Jim: Present at the Creation". The New York Times. July 28, 1996. 
  4. ^ Label on the product in question.
  5. ^ http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/9618740/
  6. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/19980514093426/http://aggroskate.com/protour/toursponsors.html
  7. ^ "SNAP! Slim Jim’s Fairy Snapmother Flies Into Convenience Stores" (Press release). ConAgra Foods. November 15, 2005. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  8. ^ http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/17-09/st_whatsinside.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  9. ^ http://www.snackmemory.com/slim-jim-beef-jerky/

External links[edit]