Jimmy Dean Cooks Up Breakfast Line for Kids

Sara Lee has extended its Jimmy Dean brand to include a breakfast sub-line for kids, called Jimmy D’s. The food giant is also debuting new ads that focus on the benefits of eating a protein-packed, balanced breakfast.

Jimmy D’s includes three products—all of which contain turkey, a lean source of protein. They are: French Toast Griddlers, Griddle Sticks and French Toast Duos. The products retail for $4.99.

Sara Lee is running TV, print, in-cinema and online ads in support of the launch. The ads, via TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles, introduce three new characters—villains named Crabby, Slow-Mo and Dim Wit—who represent what happens when school-aged children eat the wrong breakfast or no breakfast at all. Sara Lee previewed a 60-second cinema spot, along with some new products, during the BlogHer conference in New York City last week.

Print ads will run in September books, and will boast Jimmy D’s ability to help “kids reach their full potential.” “Pancake, turkey sausage, wooden stick. Proof childhood dreams do come true,” says one ad.

This isn’t the first sub-line Sara Lee has launched under the Jimmy Dean brand. D-Lights, for instance, was created to target moms who are trying to eat better.

Though the frozen foods category is particularly competitive, Sara Lee’s introduction comes at a time when consumers are looking for more affordable and convenient breakfast options. According to The NPD Group, lunch—not breakfast—is actually skipped most often. But children ages 6 to 13 also consume the most frozen breakfast foods. Ready-to-eat cereal is the breakfast food of choice among most kids, The NPD found.

Tim Smith, director for the Jimmy Dean brand, said the new kids-focused line is the biggest marketing launch for the brand this year, and more products will roll out over the course of the next six to eight months. Ad spending for Jimmy D’s is approximately twice as much as what Sara Lee spent launching D-Lights in 2007. (Sara Lee spent $12 million advertising D-Lights in 2009, and $13 million through May of this year, excluding online, per the Nielsen Co.)