Secret Big Business Marketing Memo

November 28, 2011

Though the name Sara Lee tends to conjure up images of super sweet desserts, the company has an impressive array of global brands— ranging from premium coffees and teas to deli meats. This past fall, the company announced plans to split the company in two. The new branch will focus exclusively on meats including well-known brands like Ballpark, Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm

Now, Mother Jones has gotten their hands on a confidential memo outlining a new marketing strategy. Under the new plan, the company would update the Hillshire Farm brand and introduce two premium meat brands, "Smith & Smith Fine Meats" and "Flat Iron Ranch."

As author Tom Philpott points out, the strategy seems to emphasize the flavoring agents in the meat (peppercorn and honey) while not making any claims about where the meat comes from and how the animals were treated. Apparently the "ultra-premium" lunchmeat business constitutes a $2.1 billion industry now. 

Check out the full PDF version of the internal report. Press officers for Sara Lee acknowledged the authencity of the report, but claimed it was already woefully out of date. 

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