Hormel Foods Corp. HRL has marked July 5 as the 85th anniversary of the introduction of the Spam brand of canned pork.
In The Beginning: Spam was introduced on July 5, 1937, consisting of six ingredients – pork with ham, salt, water, potato starch, sugar, sodium nitrite – and marketed with the goal of introducing a low-cost canned product with an extended shelf life. The product’s name was picked in a contest, with Ken Daigneau, a brother of a Hormel executive, winning $100 for his creativity.
Spam came into its own during World War II when the shipment of food to Allied troops proved challenging. The canned Spam presented no logistics problems, and its distribution was extended to the U.K. and the Soviet Union to help alleviate their food shortages. After the war, the product became a popular staple in several Asian countries and territories where the U.S. maintained military bases.
And, of course, Monty Python fans have long savored the joys of Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, garnished with truffle pâté, brandy and a fried egg on top, and Spam.
What Happens Next: According to a press statement from Hormel, Spam products and recipes are on the menus of over 700 American restaurants, included the Hawaiian outlets of McDonald's MCD and the Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. SVNDY chain 7-Eleven. The company added it was “in the pantries of celebrity chefs like Dale Talde, Jordan Andino, Jamie Chung, Roy Choi and more.”
However, Hormel only noted the anniversary of Spam’s debut without any special products or observances, only noting that “the brand is eager to share several announcements later this year, including a new limited-time Spam variety that is sure to excite around the holiday season.”
Photo: A Spam anniversary cake, via Hormel
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