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Americans Find Co-Workers More Stress-Inducing Than Work

AUSTIN, Minn. | June 17, 2008
HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ Meals Expert Offers Tips on Creating a Healthy Work Environment

According to a new survey1 conducted by the makers of HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ meals, more than half of Americans (51 percent) say the biggest source of stress at work is not the job itself, but their co-workers. Chatty co-workers, annoying office catchphrases and brownnosers on top of never-ending workloads make Americans long for a break by midday.

Unfortunately, the survey shows that workers are not able to indulge in the lengthy, relaxed lunches of yesteryear. Nearly half (49 percent) of Americans who work in an office eat lunch at their desk at least three times a week.

New HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ Meals Now Available Nationally
Recognizing the need for a healthy and satisfying lunch, Hormel Foods announces national availability of a new line of HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ meals, created for a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, two new varieties will be available regionally in fall of 2008. The meals meet the USDA guidelines for “healthy lifestyle,” and all six varieties of the new HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ line boast 320 calories or less and up to 22 grams of protein for a satisfying midday meal.

The new HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ meals provide sustenance with lean meats, hearty vegetables and rich, flavorful spices, keeping office workers satisfied long into the afternoon. The meals are easily portable, can be stored inside a desk drawer or briefcase, and are ready in just 90 seconds – up to six times faster than most frozen meals.

“In today’s time-crunched workplace, the idea of a long lunch break just isn’t an option,” said Brett Asay, product manager, Hormel Foods. “The new line of HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ meals provides quick, great tasting, affordable lunchtime choices that complement a healthy lifestyle. The meals give workers the opportunity to enjoy a respite from their daily chaos and balance their desire for a quick meal with one that is also nutritious.”

Creating a Healthy Work Environment
It is possible for cube-dwellers to create a healthy work environment despite the pandemonium that surrounds them. Workplace Humor Expert Scott Christopher offers tips on how office workers can lighten up and create a healthy work environment for themselves. All of Scott’s tips can be found at www.hormel.com/compleats, but for example:

-Constructive Chatter: If you are surrounded by negative personalities—the brownnoser, gossiper, or tattler—commit to avoiding negative conversations one day a week. That day, only say positive things to people. Sure, you may agree with their laundry list of gripes, put downs, complaints, accusations, and other corrosive comments, but keep them to yourself. You’ll feel better by day’s end.
-Three O’clock Rock: Each afternoon invite co-workers to a spacious area for a break and a little exercise. Have a different employee select a song from their music collection and for 3-5 minutes blast it out for all to enjoy. Stretch your legs, do a dance, sing along, and laugh out loud. This will help refocus your creative energies and form bonds with your cube mates.

Survey: Scheming, Corporate Lingo, Gossip and More
As part of the HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ meals launch, Hormel Foods conducted a survey of America office workers to discover exactly what type of work environment currently exists. It uncovered an unhealthy work environment with pet peeves, frustrations and dirty secrets. For full survey results visit www.hormel.com/compleats, but highlighted findings include:

-Your Desk Is The New Water Cooler. A majority of office workers in America can’t get away from office gossip because most of it takes place right at their desk or a co-worker’s desk (53 percent), rather than somewhere outside their workspace such as the water cooler (just 2 percent) or the kitchen or lunch room (22 percent).
-Catchphrases That Drive You Crazy. The top three clichés that drive office workers nuts? “Think outside the box” (22 percent), “Team Player” (20 percent), and “Shoot me an email” (19 percent).
-Flattery Doesn’t Get You Everywhere. Brownnosers are a major office offender. Among office workers familiar with NBC’s “The Office,” the character they’d least like to get stuck in an elevator with is irritating brownnoser Dwight Schrute, played by actor Rainn Wilson (27 percent).
-A Lack of Long-Lasting Lunches. Unfortunately, many office workers just aren’t satisfied by their desktop dining: nearly half (46 percent) say they feel hungry again within just three hours of their midday meal.

As a final work perk, the makers of HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ are offering consumers a chance to share their strangest office lingo at www.hormelfoods.com/compleats. Cash prizes are available for the most creative phrases. The contest is open to U.S. residents age 18+ from June 17 to July 30, 2008.

HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ meals are available in six varieties and are reasonably priced, with a suggested retail price of $2.69, and are available in the canned prepared foods section in grocery stores nationwide. Current varieties include Beef Steak & Peppers, Homestyle Beef, Santa Fe Style Chicken and Sesame Chicken, and new varieties will include Chicken Marinara and Roasted Turkey and Vegetables. The 21 varieties in the original line of HORMEL® COMPLEATS™ meals debuted in May of 2007. Visit www.hormel.com/compleats for more information.

About Hormel Foods
Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the best known and trusted in the food industry. The company leverages its extensive expertise, innovation and high competencies in pork and turkey processing and marketing to bring quality, value-added brands to the global marketplace. For each of the past nine years, Hormel Foods has been named one of “The Best Big Companies in America” by Forbes magazine. The company enjoys a strong reputation among consumers, retail grocers and foodservice customers for products highly regarded for quality, taste, nutrition, convenience and value. For more information, visit www.hormelfoods.com.

About Scott Christopher
An expert on the effect of having fun in the office, Scott is co-author of the new book, The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up, and a regular humor columnist for Workplace HR magazine. He currently gives speeches and seminars that touch hearts and split sides. Topics: Brands, Community

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