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Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL)

By Trevor Born

Fortune 500 rank: 390

Founder: George A. Hormel

CEO: Jeffrey Ettinger

1 Hormel Place
Austin, MN 55912

What it does:
Hormel produces food products, primarily meat and turkey.

Always Tender (Pork Loin)
Black Label (Bacon)
Carapelli (Olive Oil)
Chi-Chi’s (Salsa)
Cure 81 (Ham)
Di Lusso (Deli)
Dinty Moore (Stew)
Herdez (Salsa)
House of Tsang (Oils)
Jennie-O Turkey Store
Kid’s Kitchen (Microwave Entrees)
Little Sizzlers (Pork Sausage)
Marrakesh Express (Mediterranean)
Old Smokehouse (Summer Sausage)
Peloponnese (Olives)
Wranglers (Franks)

Employees: 19,000 (all employees are in Minnesota)

Revenue: $6.1 billion

Net Income: $301 million

3 Months
1 Year
5 Years

S & P Data from October 2008. Chart by Denise Rath.

Hormel’s most recognizable brand, SPAM was popularized in WWII as food provided to Allied soldiers because of its long shelf life, and Hormel provided soldiers with 15 million pounds of it per week.

The canned meat has since become a cultural icon, and the identity of Austin, which is home to the annual SPAM Jam festival and SPAM Museum. According to Hormel, SPAM was featured in the Monte Python comedy sketch and subsequent Broadway play — “Spamalot” — which led to “spam” becoming the universal noun and verb for mass, unwanted e-mails.

Trevor Born is a sophomore journalism and African-American studies student at the University of Minnesota and owner of Purple Press Magazine. He has written for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune and the Minnesota Daily.

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