October 17, 2013 5:32 pm -


Innovation is good, if rare. Fancy innovation-jargon is bad. Real innovators are generally too busy innovating to make up supercilious ur-speak for what they do. Wannabees… well, they’re another story.

We’ve all heard it. “Eating at a restaurant” becomes a “360-degree family dining experience”. Putting on a pair of jeans is “establishing your personal brand”. And those aren’t remotely the worst examples of faux-innovation-speak, or even effective marketing. And we’re just getting going.

Enter someone named Sally Grimes – the Chief Innovation Officer for Hillshire Brands, the folks that bring you Jimmy Dean pork sausages, and other uber-healthy food products.

Sally’s job is to create new products — or ‘product extensions’ — for a meat company. Plain and simple. That may be challenging, or not; it’s meat. People eat meat. But before we get to that fact of life, Sally needs to redefine her job. Because, you know, that’s innovative.

So now she’s rolling out the new ‘concept’ of Jimmy Dean and its artery-lubricating stablemates, and it’s a doozy.

To Sally, Hillshire is no longer a meat company. It’s the home of — hang on to your hat — Accelerating Meat Possibilities. And Sally’s foot is on the, er, gas.

So you can expect a steady stream of porcine pixie dust from Hillshire, starting with Blueberry Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick (that’s him, above), but ending, we don’t doubt, in sorrow.

Because… it’s meat.