"Slim Jim needs to grow up."
The words, spoken by Conagra Brands CEO Sean Connolly at a recent investors meeting at the company's Merchandise Mart headquarters, marked a declaration to reinvigorate a brand that's spanned at least seven decades.
The maturation of Slim Jim is serious business. The second largest brand in a growing meat snacks category, Slim Jim is projected to bring in about $575 million in sales this year, up 35 percent from $425 million in 2012. But Conagra executives know they're leaving meat stick money on the table. As consumers of the elongated tubed jerky grow older, they mostly leave it behind.
"The Slim Jim stick is a fun status...