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Sudden Shortage of Slim Jims Causes Widespread Panic

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Plant explosion means fans wil have a horribly ungreasy summer.

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On June 9, an explosion ripped through a ConAgra (CAG) plant in North Carolina. Federal agencies say the blast was caused by a faulty water heater.

The facility -- which is the only one in the country that makes Slim Jims -- halted production immediately, and it won't resume again until August. ConAgra said the company won't be back up to its usual Slim Jim production levels until autumn.

Citigroup analyst David Driscoll cut the stock to "hold" from "buy" due to the explosion, and was quoted as saying that Slim Jim generates $200 million in annual sales and $0.06 a share for ConAgra.

"Slim Jim loyalty is very high," food industry consultant Jim Degan told the New York Post. "If you eat Slim Jims, you aren't going to find brand B or C to be an acceptable substitute."

Truer words were never spoken. I, for one, would never deem a Rolets Beef Chevy an "acceptable substitute" for my beloved Slim Jim. Nor some off-brand "Beef-n-Cheez" combo pack often found at filling stations.

No, for me it's Slim Jim or no Jim at all -- unlike some, for whom it's no Slim Jim, period. Many self-styled "gourmands" seem to be turned off by the ingredients, for some reason:


This, in case you're wondering, is mechanically separated chicken:



So it may not look like the chicken you're used to seeing. But it's still chicken. What's all the fuss about?
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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