/ About / Corporate Responsibility


As part of a long-standing tradition at Hormel Foods, we have been and always will be committed to producing wholesome, nutritious, great-tasting and safe products for consumers to enjoy. We can attribute yet another record year at Hormel Foods to our focus on understanding and delivering what consumers want. Throughout each step of our production process — from concept generation to packaging — our focus on food safety and quality, innovation and nutritious options is unwavering.

We know that good nutrition is an essential consideration in consumers’ daily lives and they are increasingly looking to purchase products that will enhance their overall health and well-being. For example, two of our product lines that have seen high demand from consumers are Hormel®Natural Choice® products and Jennie-O® turkey products. We are committed to offering a variety of food choices that help provide energy and maintain wellness.

In fiscal year 2014, Hormel Foods had more than 30 product brands in the No. 1 or No. 2 market-share position. For information related to our 2014 product sales and latest products, please visit our 2014 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.

In order to maintain our outstanding food safety record, Hormel Foods invests extensive time and resources developing a comprehensive training program for our employees. This program starts the moment an employee is hired and continues to be reinforced with ongoing food safety education relevant to his or her 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 sits on the Minnesota Governor’s Food Safety and Defense Task Force.

More information about food safety and quality can be found in the 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report.

High Food Quality and Safety Standards

Since 1891, the Hormel® brand has been synonymous with quality, value and innovation. By upholding these high standards, Hormel Foods has been recognized for quality, safety and employee training.

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. When selecting design options and materials, the team takes into account the entire manufacturing process, as well as customer and consumer usage. A variety of packaging materials and options are used for our products such as modified atmosphere packaging (a USDA-approved, all-natural process that doesn’t require chemical preservatives) and packaging designed for low acid, shelf-stable foods.

In addition to determining the best packaging methods for our products, we’re 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. We offer shelf-stable options and single serving sizes for a variety of our products. By 2020, we hope to reduce our packaging by 25 million pounds to help limit landfill waste.

All labels are developed by our experienced and 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 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.

More information about packaging can be found in our 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Conflict Minerals

While none of our products contain conflict minerals, we have met with our key packaging suppliers, who are aware of the need to comply with the SEC Rule on Conflict Minerals and have teams in place to complete their discovery 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 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report.


The company’s traceability systems provide meticulous traceability from 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. An example of the intricacy of this system is the traceability of pork raw materials. Despite the number of hogs that are processed daily at Hormel Foods plants throughout the country, our traceability systems allow us to know the farm of origin for each hog.

Furthermore, 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.

To read more information about our quality and safety training programs, visit the food safety and quality section of our 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Back to top

Use of Ingredients

The production of products in our diverse food portfolio requires the use of a variety of ingredients and additives. All ingredients used in our products are approved for use by government agencies and regulations.

Advances in technology continuously drive beneficial changes in many of the ingredients that go into our products, including crop and vegetable components.


Providing consumers with safe products is the No. 1 priority at Hormel Foods, and we understand that some consumers 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 are safe and there are 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 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. Products developed in conjunction with the Cancer Nutrition Consortium will be available in late 2015 at www.homecarenutrition.com. Consumers will have the ability to order special nutrition products, with free home delivery, directly to their door. These products will also be available to order on the Cancer Nutrition Consortium website.
  • Hormel Heath Labs developed 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 select retailers across the country.

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. 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. Stagg® natural chili is available both with and without beans.

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 these types of products. Some of these products and endorsements include:

  • Hormel® Always Tender® pork tenderloin carries the American Heart Association’s heart check mark indicating that it fits within a heart-healthy diet.
  • The Hormel® mini corn dog, a turkey frank surrounded by a whole grain batter, is one of several Hormel® products marked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition seal, letting food service operators know the product contributes nutrients toward national meal pattern requirements.
  • Finally, 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.

Back to top


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

Hormel Foods had one of the first manufacturing facilities independently certified using GFSI-recognized food safety standards. A total of 41 sites, including a combination of Hormel Foods and subsidiary locations, have been certified by GFSI-recognized food safety management systems, which include the British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety and Safe Quality Food Institute. These sites produced more than 98 percent of our product volume in fiscal year 2014. To receive this certification, Hormel Foods 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
  • Annex (Austin, Minn.)
  • Atlanta Plant (Tucker, Ga.)
  • Austin (Minn.) Plant
  • 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 Bremen (Ga.) Plant
  • Diamond Crystal Brands Duluth (Ga.) Plant
  • Diamond Crystal Brands Mitchellville (Iowa) Blending Plant
  • Diamond Crystal Brands Quakertown (Pa.) Plant
  • Diamond Crystal Brands Savannah (Ga.) Plant
  • Diamond Crystal Brands Visalia (Calif.) Plant
  • Dold Foods (Wichita, Kan.)
  • Don Miguel Foods (Dallas, Texas)
  • Farmer John (Vernon, Calif.) - Foodservice
  • 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
  • Lloyds Barbeque Company (Mendota Heights, Minn.)
  • Mexican Accent (New Berlin, Wis.)
  • Osceola (Iowa) Food
  • Progressive Processing (Dubuque, Iowa)
  • Rochelle (Ill.) Foods
  • Skippy Foods (Little Rock, Ark.)
  • Stockton (Calif.) Plant
  • Swiss American Sausage Company (Lathrop, Calif.)
  • West Central Turkeys (Pelican Rapids, Minn.)

Corporate Quality Assurance Management

Hormel Foods robust audits are conducted by trained, certified auditors. Auditors must complete certified trainings through various accreditation bodies overseeing auditing bodies. Accreditation sets certain certification requirements such as food safety management systems and HACCP.

We provide customers additional assurances by subjecting all sites to audits by credible, outside agencies, which audit every plant for HACCP, sanitation and quality.

Back to top

Products in Emerging Markets

One of our core international strategies is providing savory and nutritious options for lower income consumers. Many of our products sold in emerging markets are developed to meet basic local needs. In every market, we are working to make our products affordable for more and more consumers, and our progress is gaining momentum. The company continues to develop the pricing strategy for emerging markets at the corporate level in collaboration with local teams and partners, to reach those with lower purchasing power.

Back to top

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 noncompliance with regulations or voluntary codes concerning marketing communications to report for fiscal year 2014.

Back to top

Nutrition & Wellness

Our Approach to Nutrition and Wellness


Hormel Foods is committed to elevating the everyday experience, and we do that in part by helping consumers achieve their personal nutrition and wellness goals. 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.


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.

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.

Nutritious Recipes and Tips

At Hormel Foods, we believe a well-balanced meal doesn’t have to take all 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:

Nutritional Tracking

Hormel Foods employs the use of innovation management software for the purposes of product pipeline nutritional tracking and the prioritization of products.

Back to top