If you’ve ever eaten meat in your life, chances are you’ve had, or run into, SPAM… the meat in the blue can. The product, which has been around since 1937, has made itself a mainstay in the food market and is, arguably, one of the pride and joys of the brand behind it, Hormel. In a move away from meat, at a recent third-quarter analysis conference, the CEO of Hormel, James Snee, revealed that the company is investing in plant-based foods in the coming years.
The brand, which has traditionally not been a brand of vegan and plant-based products, is hoping to diversify its holdings with things like, for example, non-meat proteins.
Back in May, Hormel purchased Justin’s Nut Butters for $286 million — a pretty big investment. “We’ve acquired some great non-meat protein items that have really rounded out our portfolio,” Snee said. “It’s really this rounding out of our business in the protein space, the non-meat protein, and then flavor enhancers that will allow us to evolve to become a broader food company,” he added.
Snee’s plan is to ensure that 15 percent of all of Hormel’s net sales in 2020 come from new products that they develop in the five years prior to this (2015 – 2020). Snee’s goal in all of this is to make Hormel a more versatile and innovative brand.
They’re not the first meat-selling company to invest in vegan and plant-based brands. Earlier this year, huge chicken producers Tyson bought a 5% stake in the Beyond Meat brand. Business is — almost always — exclusively focused on making money, so these big conglomerates investing in plant-based products shows that the market is indeed growing.
So vegans and the veg-curious can rejoice, as more and more products become easily available all over the world.
Image credit: freezelight