How is Your Business Using Your Leftovers? – A Lesson from Swanson’s Dinners

Here’s a recent team message I sent out, about smartly using what you have.  New creations are great, if you first build on the wisdom from your past experience.


Team, I’ve been studying companies’ innovations as we well know, and not only currently, but also in the past. We’ve covered trends from Google, Facebook, and social media; today, this is going to come from “Swanson’s TV Dinners.”

I think most of us know what these are. They’re dinners that are pre-made and now so many brands provide them. Swanson originated them in 1953, and there was a significant reason for them.

Swanson’s major market at the time was providing frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners. The question was: What should they do with 260 tons of leftover frozen turkeys, post-Thanksgiving?

What would you do?

That was the birth of Swanson’s TV Dinners.

So how does that relate to us?

Team, I encourage you to think about what we have “leftover.”  What have we already created?  Please build off of that base.  When you work on Business Unit Planning, Website Development, New Marketing Messages, or a CSR Corporate Proposal, go back to our original wisdom.

We spend a lot of time working on our strategy and operations materials. Leverage our experience, our expertise, lessons learned, and what already exists.  Put our leftover “frozen turkeys” to good use.

I’m looking forward to hearing over lunchtime conversations, how you are innovating with our leftover frozen turkeys 🙂

All the best,



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