Image: GE/Thrillist
GE is selling 1,000 bottles of a hot sauce packaged in silicone carbide and ceramic matrix composites.

Will GE's Saucy Campaign Attract Hottest New Hires?

May 3, 2016
General Electric wants the best and brightest young engineers to know the company manufactures a lot more than just light bulbs, like jet engines, turbine tech --- and hot sauce?

General Electric Co. (IW500/6) is overhauling its business, moving away from finance toward big machines such as gas turbines and jet engines. Now the industrial behemoth has a new product to promote its engineering prowess: hot sauce.

A limited run of the tongue-scorching condiment, called 1032 Kelvin, created with the help of High River Sauces, was designed to drum up interest in GE’s advanced materials that can withstand high temperatures. The sauce, sporting packaging made of the silicon carbide used in jet engines, went on sale Monday on Thrillist’s website.

Thrillist says the new sauce "will be based on one of the world’s most unforgiving peppers, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion." It can reach more than 2 million Scoville units, the scale for measuring a pepper's spiciness. The hottest is the Carolina Reaper.

It’s the latest in a series of off-kilter marketing efforts by GE to subvert its image as a boring old conglomerate and appeal to a younger generation of engineers.

“They’re intentionally doing a set of things that is inconsistent with the image that younger people have of GE,” said Julie Hennessy, a marketing professor as Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “They’re trying to re-frame what their business is.”

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