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Hormel’s protein powerhouse: growth shaped through deals and new ideas


Star Tribune

Consumers are becoming more leery of processed foods, yet Spam is still plugging along. Hormel Foods Corp. is even introducing a dried, bite-size snack version of the 78-year-old paragon of processing.

At the same time, Hormel is crossing a new meat frontier — organic and natural — with its recent $775 million purchase of Applegate Farms. While Spam Snacks is a small bet and Applegate Farms a big one, they represent Hormel’s unique position in packaged food, which has kept it mostly free of the industry’s malaise. Protein is in high demand from consumers, and the Austin, Minn.-based company specializes in it, from pork and turkey to peanut butter.