As part of our 20 By 30 Challenge, we are committed to offering a wide array of high-quality, safe, affordable and convenient products, and continuing our clean-label initiative and efforts that help people meet their dietary requirements with nutritious food options. Our team works tirelessly to develop products that support the health and wellness of our consumers. As a result of our efforts, we launch hundreds of new retail and foodservice items every year, and continue to direct our investment toward increasing transparency in our products, providing specially designed items for the underserved patient community and expanding our plant-based product portfolio to provide alternative sources of protein to our consumers.
To respond to consumer needs and market trends for nutritious and functional food products, we have established our Health, Science and Wellness Advisory Council, which sets strategies for advancing healthy solutions in our product portfolio. Through collaboration with a cross-functional team consisting of research and development, marketing, consumer insights, regulatory affairs and packaging, the council advises our approaches to pursuing opportunities and engaging in internal and external partnerships for developing and distributing products that support healthy diets and informed food choices.
We are proud to report that we have a variety of products certified by independent outside entities, including Whole30®, American Heart Association, Vegan Awareness Foundation, The Non-GMO Project and others. In addition, we have an entire division — Hormel Health Labs — that has been developing and producing products for populations with special dietary needs. In Europe, 10 SKUs of Skippy® peanut butter products in the market are free of palm oil.
In an effort to enable consumers to make better food decisions, we have established our clean-label initiative, which aims to simplify the ingredient statements of our retail products through the removal or replacement of ingredients while still delivering the great taste shoppers expect. Through the initiative, our products are evaluated for opportunities to shorten ingredient lists, use ingredients that are familiar to consumers, and remove artificial colors and flavors to provide clearer and easy-to-follow product information to inform decision-making.
Our Foodservice division is dedicated to promoting clean labels on our products, and innovation efforts continue to be chef inspired with easily recognized ingredients, smart sodium levels and on-trend preparation methods to ensure accurate ingredients and menu items are reflected in commercial kitchens. We have a diverse portfolio of product innovations and successes, including Hormel® Fire Braised™ meats, Hormel® Natural Choice® meats and Hormel® Fuse™ burgers. These items are 100% natural — minimally processed, free of artificial ingredients, zero preservatives, no artificial colors, and no nitrites or nitrates (except for those that occur naturally) — and are produced with no gluten-containing ingredients, where applicable.
Natural Product Offerings
We recognize more and more consumers want minimally processed, preservative-free foods. We are proud to offer a variety of products to meet these needs.
- We developed Hormel® Natural Choice® products by pioneering the use of high-pressure processing (HPP) for protein products. This technology retains great taste without the need for preservatives, artificial ingredients, added nitrates or nitrites. With the MegaMex Foods acquisition of Fresherized Foods in 2011, we added Wholly® guacamole dips to our portfolio of foods prepared using HPP.
- Our Skippy® natural peanut butter spreads offer natural nonmeat protein options. Skippy® natural peanut butter spreads contain no preservatives and no artificial flavors or colors.
- To offer consumers even more natural and organic options, we acquired the Applegate® brand in 2015 and the Justin’s® brand in 2016.
- In 2017, our Foodservice division introduced several natural items, including Hormel® Natural Choice® pecanwood smoked ham, Hormel® Natural Choice® pepperoni and Hormel® Natural Choice® Canadian-style bacon. These items are 100% natural with no preservatives or artificial ingredients.
- Our Hormel® Compleats® chicken Alfredo and chili with beans items, along with our Dinty Moore® beef stew microwaveable meal, contain no artificial ingredients.
- In 2017, several new snacking options were introduced. These include Hormel® Natural Choice® snacks with bite-sized pieces of 100% natural meat and cheese along with a chocolate-covered treat and Wholly® Simply Avocado® dips and spreads with simple ingredients and flavors, including jalapeño lime and red pepper.
We are dedicated to helping consumers address and manage nutritional and health concerns in food products. Based on consumer research and feedback, we actively initiate sodium-reduction research and product reformulation initiatives to reach the preferred sodium levels in our products. Moving forward, we will continue to nourish a global population of diverse dietary preferences, and decrease added sodium and sugars in our products while promoting the use of desirable, more nutritious ingredients whenever possible.
Plant-Based Protein Options
We are proud to offer a wide range of plant-based retail and foodservice items, including but not limited to the Planters® brand and Skippy® peanut butter products, Justin’s® nut butter products and Burke® plant-based products. As part of our dedication to supporting consumers’ food preferences, we look forward to continuing to expand our portfolio and capabilities to introduce innovative and tasty plant-based food options.
Many of our products are endorsed by outside organizations for meeting specific nutritional and/or processing standards. Labels associated with these endorsements allow customers to easily identify products that fall under these categories. Some of these products and endorsements include:
- Our Hormel® mini corn dog, a turkey frank surrounded by a whole-grain batter, is one of several Hormel® products marked with the USDA Child Nutrition label, which lets foodservice operators know the product contributes nutrients toward national meal pattern requirements.
- Our Valley Fresh® organic chicken breast and Justin’s® peanut butter cups carry the USDA Organic seal.
- A variety of our products, including 16.3-ounce SkippyY® creamy peanut butter, Chi-Chi’s® tortillas, 16-ounce Chi-Chi’s® salsa (mild and medium), Wholly® Guacamole dips, Thick & Easy® clear thickened water – nectar consistency, and Justin’s® maple almond butter have the Orthodox Union seal of approval. This identifies products that are certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union.
- Our Hormel® Vital Cuisine® trays carry the Cancer Nutrition Consortium seal of approval.
- Many of our Applegate® products, including organic gluten-free chicken nuggets, organic chicken and apple sausage, and organic turkey burgers, carry the Non-GMO Project Verified butterfly seal.
- Our canned Valley Fresh® chicken breast with rib meat and Valley Fresh® white and dark chunk chicken in broth are certified by the American Heart Association, which means these products meet the criteria for heart-healthy food.