Slim Jims

Slim Jim

When you need help staving off those hunger pains in between meals, nothing says snack like those lovable little cylinders of packaged meat known as Slim Jims. While maybe not as healthy as a handful of carrot sticks, these flavorful snacks have certainly made their mark in popular culture.

The creator of the Slim Jim, a man by the name of Adolph Levis, offered his pickles, relishes, and vegetables to depression-era delicatessens in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA. Taking notice of the apparent popularity of pepperoni and bologna, he set out to create a small sausage that could be offered to local pub patrons.

Originally sold in jars, the label featured a thin man wearing a tuxedo, top hat, and holding a cane. Levis named the man “Slim Jim” and the rest is history. These treats proved to be enormously popular for their unique flavor and how they snapped when bitten. Expanding his market, he began offering them in convenience stores and, as a result, made a small fortune off of his little sausage cylinders. In 1967, he retired and sold the product to General Mills who proceeded to bestow Slim Jims upon rest of the world.

Marketed at one time with the slogan, “Less Than a Meal and More Than a Snack.”, Slim Jims eventually became available in more than 20 varieties including: mild, spicy, pepperoni, and nacho cheese. Consumers gobble up the tasty treats to the tune of 500 million a year, with the largest demographic being teenage boys who, it has been determined, commonly consume 5-10 of these spicy morsels at a time. It should probably come as no surprise that the product turned to professional wrestlers in the 90s, to help sell their wares to this young yet powerful target audience.

As the country has grown more health-conscious, Slim Jims may not have quite as many fans as in decades past, but you also don’t see 7-Eleven putting out racks of carrot sticks near the cash register either. Whether they admit it or not, Americans are still buying their fare share of Slim Jims, especially when nobody is looking.

If you are a fan of these meaty snacks, we would love to hear your Slim Jim memories in our comments section below.

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