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Sara Lee's New Business Plan Swaps Out Pound Cake For Meats And Tea

Illustration by Debaser

Consumer-goods giant Sara Lee, once best known as America’s purveyor of frozen pound cakes, splits into two businesses this month: one for meats and the other for international beverages (whose new name, below, sounds like a new model of coffeemaker). The corporation is hopeful that the new entities will become worth more, in total, than its current value of $13 billion. Here’s where they currently stand.

MeatCo
(meats)

D.E. Master Blenders 1753
(beverages)

The cleverly named company’s brands—Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, and Ball Park—already hold the top spots in their respective product categories.

The beverage business is banking on Senseo-branded single-serve coffee products, which have an 8% global market share—but Nestlé already dominates the space with a 35% market share.

Presplit, the meats division, which serves North America only, accounts for more than 30% of Sara Lee’s stock value.

The international beverage division (the U.S. division was sold to Smucker’s in January) accounts for more than 55% of Sara Lee’s stock value.

Sales in the first half of fiscal 2012 were $1.99 billion.

Sales in the first half of fiscal 2012 were $1.89 billion.

A version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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