/ About / Corporate Responsibility

Products

At Hormel Foods, we continue to focus our business on providing consumers with the highest quality, wholesome, nutritious, great-tasting and safe products. Throughout each step of our production process — from concept generation to packaging — our focus on food safety, quality, innovation and nutritious options is unwavering.

As nutrition is an essential part of consumers’ daily lives, Hormel Foods is committed to offering a variety of food choices. For example, two of our product lines that have seen high demand from consumers are Hormel®Natural Choice® products and Jennie-O® turkey products. In addition, in 2015 Hormel Foods acquired Applegate Farms, LLC, owner of the Applegate® brand, as an extension to offer consumers additional natural and organic options.

In fiscal year 2015, Hormel Foods had more than 30 product brands in the No. 1 or No. 2 market-share position. For information about our products, please visit our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.


Food Safety and Quality

Maintaining an objective oversight of food safety and quality standards, Hormel Foods facilities are certified against the food safety standards recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), an internationally recognized, third-party food safety management system.

Maintaining our outstanding food safety record continues to be at the forefront of our business. Hormel Foods invests extensive time and resources developing a comprehensive training program for our employees. From the moment an employee is hired, he or she continues to receive ongoing, current and industry-specific food safety education relevant to everyday job responsibilities. This training includes Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Training, Better Process Control School, in-house Quality Control University and additional job-specific training. The company also provides training opportunities to key co-packers to ensure they are adhering to our strict safety standards. Additionally, a representative from the Hormel Foods research and development team serves on the Minnesota Governor’s Food Safety and Defense Task Force.

More information about food safety and quality can be found in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.



Product Safety Management

Objective oversight is an imperative process for Hormel Foods to ensure the highest food safety and quality standards in all areas of the company’s operations. This is done through an internationally recognized, third-party food safety management system, widely known as GFSI.

Hormel Foods had one of the first manufacturing facilities independently certified using GFSI-recognized food safety standards. A total of 41 of our sites (or 98 percent), including a combination of Hormel Foods and subsidiary locations, were certified by GFSI-recognized food safety management systems in 2015, which include the British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety and Safe Quality Food Institute. To receive this certification, sites were audited against one or more food safety standards recognized by GFSI, which are overseen by accreditation and certification bodies.

These locations include:

  • Algona (Iowa) Plant
  • Alma (Kan.) Foods
  • Atlanta Plant (Tucker, Ga.)
  • Austin (Minn.) Plant and Annex
  • Beloit (Wis.) Plant
  • Burke Marketing Corp. (Nevada, Iowa)
  • Century Foods International - Plant #1 (Sparta, Wis.)
  • Century Foods International - Plant #3 (Sparta, Wis.)
  • Century Foods International - Plant #4 (Sparta, Wis.)
  • Creative Contract Packaging (Aurora, Ill.)
  • Dan's Prize Browerville (Minn.) Plant
  • Dan's Prize Long Prairie (Minn.) Plant
  • Diamond Crystal Brands (Bondurant, Iowa)
  • Diamond Crystal Brands (Bremen, Ga.)
  • Diamond Crystal Brands (Duluth, Ga.)
  • Diamond Crystal Brands (Quakertown, Pa.)
  • Diamond Crystal Brands (Savannah, Ga.)
  • Diamond Crystal Brands (Visalia, Calif.)
  • Dold Foods (Wichita, Kan.)
  • Don Miguel Foods (Dallas, Texas)
  • Farmer John (Vernon, Calif.) - Foodservice
  • Farmer John (Vernon, Calif.) – Main Plant
  • Farmer John (Vernon, Calif.) - Sliced
  • Fremont (Neb.) Plant
  • Hormel Foods Corporate Quality Assurance (Austin, Minn.)
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store Barron (Wis.) Plant
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store Benson Ave. Plant (Willmar, Minn.)
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store Faribault (Minn.) Plant
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store Melrose (Minn.) Plant
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store Montevideo (Minn.) Plant
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store Willmar Ave. Plant (Willmar, Minn.)
  • Knoxville (Iowa) Plant
  • Lloyd's Barbeque Company (Mendota Heights, Minn.)
  • Mexican Accent (New Berlin, Wis.)
  • Osceola (Iowa) Food
  • Progressive Processing (Dubuque, Iowa)
  • Rochelle (Ill.) Foods
  • Saag’s Products (San Leandro, Calif.)
  • Skippy Foods (Little Rock, Ark.)
  • Swiss American Sausage Company (Lathrop, Calif.)
  • West Central Turkeys (Pelican Rapids, Minn.)

Corporate Quality Assurance Management

Hormel Foods robust audits are conducted by experienced auditors, who inspect every plant for HACCP, sanitation and quality.

In addition, all sites are subject to audits by credible, outside agencies, whose auditors have completed certified trainings through various accreditation bodies. Accreditation sets certain certification requirements such as food safety management systems and HACCP.



fbpafTraceability

The company has a meticulous traceability process in place, starting with our ingredient suppliers, to the production plant, into the finished product, and finally to each customer. This intricate system relies on electronic systems and records to provide visibility into our supply chain. Our detailed and thorough approach to traceability, for example, allows us to know the farm of origin for each hog that is processed daily at Hormel Foods plants throughout the country.

Quality control employees are trained to trace inputs. Each Hormel Foods manufacturing facility holds a quarterly unannounced test to assess “real-time” system product traceability capabilities. This process brings visibility into the system and allows us to make continual improvements to the system and overall process.

Packaging and Labeling

Packaging scientists at Hormel Foods determine the best packaging techniques for all of our products in order to ensure our food safety and quality standards. A variety of packaging materials and options are used for our products including modified atmosphere packaging (a USDA-approved, all-natural process that doesn’t require chemical preservatives) and packaging designed for low acid, shelf-stable foods. As we prepare products to be sold, they undergo multiple stages and checks and balances. Our packaging scientists do a thorough review of products, taking into account the entire manufacturing process, as well as customer and consumer usage.

In addition, Hormel Foods is dedicated to developing the best packaging techniques for the environment. In an effort to prevent food waste, we have a variety of products specifically designed and packaged to limit the amount of wasted food, such as shelf-stable options and single serving size options. By 2020, we also hope to reduce our packaging by 25 million pounds to help limit landfill waste.

All product labels are developed by our team of highly-trained technical label experts with decades of industry experience in label development in accordance with mandatory and voluntary labeling elements. Nutritional label panel accuracy is important to us to ensure our products are delivering the expected dietary needs of our consumers. As a result, we operate an internal, ongoing, nutritional label verification program in order to ensure all nutritional panel information is accurate. Additionally, in order to ensure the ease of access to this important product information, we provide consumers with nutritional information on our product websites.

Labeling and formulation controls are managed through an integrated software system, which maintains profiles and specifications of all ingredients as well as the associated suppliers. This system is designed to identify all allergens (i.e., milk, wheat, soy, nuts); sensitive ingredients (i.e., sulfate, MSG); country of origin; supplying plant location; date of purchase; nutrition information and other detailed specifications. All elements of this database are maintained through a working relationship with suppliers.

Bisphenol A

Bisphenol A (BPA) is commonly used as a component of epoxy liners for metal cans and for metal lid enclosures on glass jars to maintain the safety, quality and taste of food products while preventing corrosion of cans and contamination of these items. BPA is also commonly found in the natural environment in very small amounts. The packaging industry has developed liners and lid enclosures that do not intentionally contain BPA. These materials are referred to in the industry as BPA non-intent materials, or BPAni.

Hormel Foods is committed to complying with all federal and state laws. We are working with our suppliers and co-packers and will be in full compliance with the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s BPA listing for all of our FDA-regulated products.

More information about packaging can be found in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Conflict Minerals

While none of our products contain conflict minerals, we have met with our key packaging suppliers who are complying with the SEC Rule on Conflict Minerals and have teams in place to continually review their due diligence processes. We will continue to meet with our suppliers to get updates on their progress.

Hormel Foods understands the issues associated with conflict minerals that originate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country, and we work with suppliers that share our values and support our Supplier Responsibility Principles. These principles outline our expectations for our suppliers within specific areas of corporate responsibility, such as human rights and safe work environment standards. More information about our Supplier Responsibility Principles and our corporate responsibility efforts can be found in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.



Use of Ingredients/GMOs

The production of products in our diverse food portfolio requires the use of a wide range of ingredients and additives. All ingredients used in our products are approved for use by government agencies and regulations. We continue to monitor industry best practices and will note any updates to ingredients as it applies to our products in the future.

Technological advancements continue to drive beneficial changes in many of the ingredients that go into our products, including crop and vegetable components.

GMOs

Providing consumers with safe products is the No. 1 priority at Hormel Foods. We understand that consumers may have questions about genetically modified food ingredients, more commonly referred to as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The use of genetically modified ingredients is not only safe for people and our planet, but also has a number of important benefits.

Many of the most influential regulatory agencies and organizations that study the safety of the food supply, including the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences, have found GMO food ingredients to be safe with no negative health effects associated with their use.

This technology adds desirable traits from nature, without introducing anything unnatural or using chemicals, so that food is more plentiful.

It is important for our consumers to know that this technology is not new. In fact, it has been around for the past 20 years, and today, 70 to 80 percent of the foods we eat in the United States, both at home and away from home, contain ingredients that have been genetically modified. If the ingredient label on any food or beverage product contains corn or soy, they most likely contain GMO ingredients, as a very high percentage of those crops grown in the U.S. use GM technology. In addition, a high percentage of other ingredients in the U.S., such as sugar beets, are grown with the use of GM technology as well.

Ingredients grown using genetically modified technology require fewer pesticides, less water and keep production costs down. In fact, this technology helps reduce the price of crops used for food, such as corn, soybeans and sugar beets by as much as 15 to 30 percent. One in eight people among the world’s growing population of seven billion do not have enough to eat. Safe and effective methods of food production, like crops produced through GM technology, can help us feed the hungry and malnourished in developing nations around the world.

Hormel Foods will continue to advocate for the continued safe and effective use of agricultural biotechnology to increase the food supply while lowering costs. We will also continue to engage in an informative dialogue with our consumers so that they understand the safety, prevalence and benefits of this technology and can make informed choices for themselves and their families. For consumers that are interested in alternative choices, our Applegate® product portfolio is GMO-ingredient free.

For more information, we encourage you to visit www.factsaboutgmos.com.

 

Products to Address Health and Nutrition Needs

The Specialty Foods division of Hormel Foods focuses on delivering health and nutrition products through three strategic pillars: performance nutrition, activity nutrition and recovery nutrition.

  • Hormel Foods acquired CytoSport, makers of Muscle Milk® products, in 2014. CytoSport produces a variety of sports nutrition products to meet the nutrition needs of all types of athletes.
  • Hormel Foods has partnered with the Cancer Nutrition Consortium to provide patients with nutritional offerings to help meet their specific needs throughout cancer treatments. In 2015, we launched Hormel Vital Cuisine high-protein shakes and whey powders and made them directly available to consumers for home delivery at http://www.homecarenutrition.com/vital-cuisine. A line of Hormel Vital Cuisine meals will be launched in 2016.
  • Hormel Heath Labs develops products with functional ingredients to meet specific dietary requirements, such as diets associated with chronic liver disease or high-caloric product needs. For example, Hormel Health Labs offers Hepatic-Aid® II instant drink, a dietary supplement that contains essential and nonessential amino acids, carbohydrates and fats in a readily digestible form. This formulation is specifically designed to provide a palatable supplement to the diet of patients with chronic liver disease.
  • Hormel Health Labs also offers a complete line of products that help deliver nutrients to the elderly, an area of upmost importance for this sector of the population. Hormel Health Labs products are available at http://www.homecarenutrition.com.

Natural Product Offerings

Hormel Foods recognizes that more and more consumers today are seeking minimally processed, preservative-free foods. We developed Hormel® Natural Choice® products by pioneering the use of High-Pressure Processing (HPP) for protein products. This technology keeps the product tasting great without the need for added preservatives, artificial ingredients, nitrates or nitrites. With the MegaMex Foods acquisition of Fresherized Foods in 2011, we have added Wholly Guacamole® dips to our portfolio of foods prepared using HPP.

Our SKIPPY® natural peanut butter products offer natural non-meat protein options. SKIPPY® natural peanut butter products contain no preservatives and no artificial flavors or colors. Our Valley Fresh® products offer 100 percent natural chicken and turkey that are low in fat and contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients. Additionally, we introduced two Stagg® brand chili varieties in 2014 that are 100 percent natural, and launched two Hormel® natural chili varieties in 2015.

In 2015, Hormel Foods also acquired Applegate Farms, LLC, owner of the Applegate® brand, as an extension to offer consumers additional natural and organic options. For information about Applegate® products, visit http://www.applegate.com/.

Outside Endorsements

Many of our products are endorsed by outside organizations for meeting specific nutritional and/or processing standards. The endorsements allow customers to easily identify products that fall under these categories. Some of these products and endorsements include:

  • Our Hormel® Always Tender® pork tenderloin carries the American Heart Association’s heart check mark indicating that it fits within a heart-healthy diet.
  • Our Hormel® mini corn dog, a pork and chicken frank surrounded by a whole grain batter, is one of several Hormel® products marked with the USDA Child Nutrition seal, letting food service operators know the product contributes nutrients toward national meal pattern requirements.
  • Muscle Milk® organic protein shakes and our Valley Fresh® organic chicken breast carry the USDA Organic seal.
  • A variety of products including SKIPPY® peanut butter, CHI-CHI’S® tortillas, CHI-CHI’S® salsa, Wholly Guacamole® dips, Wholly Salsa® dips, and Thick & Easy® clear instant food and beverage thickener have the Orthodox Union seal of approval, identifying products that are kosher certified by the Orthodox Union.
  • Our Hormel Vital Cuisine 100% whey protein drink mix and ready-to-drink varieties carry the Cancer Nutrition Consortium seal of approval.


Nutrition & Wellness

Our Approach to Nutrition and Wellness

Commitment

Hormel Foods is committed to helping consumers achieve their personal nutrition and wellness goals, and making smart decisions on their product purchases. We believe it is our responsibility to be more than just a food company; we advocate healthy living and provide consumers with the resources they need to make healthy decisions about the food they eat.

Balance

At Hormel Foods, we recognize that balance is an important part of simplifying the wellness journey, which includes more than just what you eat. Wellness includes a balanced diet, striving for balance between work and play, and restoring harmony among many of life’s competing demands. We strive to help consumers make good decisions to maintain balance in their lives by providing information, realistic meal options and tips that can be easily woven into their day-to-day lives. We know that a long-term commitment to wellness requires ongoing support, and we want to help by suggesting practical, simple steps that make a big difference. Visit our Recipes section to find easy ways to make nutritious meals.

Nutritious Recipes and Tips

At Hormel Foods, we believe a well-balanced meal doesn’t have to take a full evening to prepare. Families can combine convenient, microwavable products and fresh ingredients to create delicious, nutritious meals while saving time and energy.

The Hormel Foods Test Kitchen provides a number of nutritious, flavorful meals to help make mealtime relaxing and fun. For recipe suggestions, please click below:

Realistic Solutions

Hormel Foods is an expert in convenient meal solutions. Our approach to nutrition and wellness is identical to the way we approach all of our efforts at Hormel Foods: led by the principles of Our Way, the values platform that guides our daily actions. The phrase “Wellness Our Way” demonstrates our long-term commitment and reflects our “one step at a time” approach to the effort. Healthy living does not have to be complicated; realistic solutions can be both convenient and healthy.



Products in Emerging Markets

One of our core international strategies is providing savory and nutritious options for lower income consumers, by developing products in emerging markets that are tailored to meet basic local needs. In every market, we are working to make our products affordable for more and more consumers.

In addition, we specifically designed and developed SPAMMY®, a shelf-stable poultry product fortified with vitamins and minerals, to help malnourished children in Guatemala. To learn more about Project SPAMMY®, please visit the communities section of our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.



Responsible Marketing

Hormel Foods does not target children with advertisements for any of our products.

As a member of the Association of National Advertisers, which works on behalf of marketers on policies, regulations and other issues affecting members, Hormel Foods is committed to ensuring all advertising done by or on behalf of our company complies with the advertising industry’s self-regulation system of codes. These self-imposed guidelines complement government regulations and legislation.

There are no incidents of non-compliance with regulations or voluntary codes concerning marketing communications to report for fiscal year 2015.

Back to top