Thursday, July 23, 2009


I know each and every one of you is just dying to know about this wonderful product. But we're going to have to hop into the Wayback Machine and take a little trip. So fasten your seatbelts and hang on because we're going a long way.

It all began back in 1937 when Hormel developed the first canned meat product that didn’t require refrigeration. Made from chopped pork shoulder meat and ham, it was developed by Jay C. Hormel. Originally it was marketed as “Hormel Spiced Ham.” That wasn’t a very inspiring name for a product destined to save lives, win wars, and provide balanced diets for people all over the world.

After other meatpackers noticed how popular the new product was, they began marketing their own canned luncheon meats, and Hormel began losing some of its share of the market. In an effort to increase their declining market share, Hormel came up with an ingenious plan. They needed to give their product a distinctive name. So they held a contest and offered a $100 prize to the person who provided the winning name. The winner’s name was Ken. (Sorry, that’s all they told me.) And, naturally, the winning product name was SPAM! And a legend was born. (SPAM, not Ken. He was never heard from again as far as we know.)

SPAM was referred to as the “Miracle Meat” when Hormel launched their massive ad campaign in 1937. And in 1940 SPAM was featured in what may have been the very first singing commercial. Sales boomed. And, since SPAM required no refrigeration, it was the perfect product to send to our boys in uniform who were fighting the war overseas. Hormel began sending SPAM to the soldiers in 1941.

And, at the same time, back in the states, sales continued to go through the roof. Since SPAM wasn’t rationed, as beef was, it quickly became a staple in American meals. And it wasn't only in America that SPAM was gaining popularity and providing nutrition. Nikita Kruschev credits SPAM with the survival of the Russian Army during WWII.

In the early 1950s, the Hormel Girls advertised SPAM as they performed throughout the country. They distributed SPAM door-to-door, and even had a national weekly radio show. Ads proclaimed, ''Cold or hot, SPAM hits the spot!'' And, although not as popular as it once was, you can still find that familiar metal can on the grocery shelves today.

If you want to see a fabulous website, visit It’s one of my favorites.

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