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.


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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.

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  • Morris1030

    Sara Lee's new "butter" Pound Cake is terrible. Sticks to the container and the bottom and top coating on cake is stuck to foil. Cake is sweeter, too moist and hard to cut and seems filled with air. Whoever attempted to fix what wasn't broken is nuts. The bakery was sold along with its brains, quality, and integrity. Not the same product and they'll suffer for this. It's gluey rather than the light delightful pound cake it was.