In the market for more than 80 years, spam – a registered product that mixes ham and pork – has recorded record sales for the seventh year in a row in 2021.
Jim Snee, president of the American company Hormel Foods, which owns the brand, announced the performance on Thursday (9) at a conference for investors while announcing the panel’s results for the quarter ended October.
Launched in 1937, canned food is a classic. Because it was cheap and had a very flexible shelf life, it was distributed in tons during World War II, used to feed European troops and European citizens allied with the United States.
In the difficult years after the conflict, it was widely consumed when many countries tried to rebuild and food was not immediately available.
Over time, “ham” became synonymous with a cheaper ingredient in the West – but became a delicacy in the Asia-Pacific region, which somewhat illustrates the brand’s success in recent years.
Spam was brought to South Korea by the U.S. military in an attempt to alleviate food shortages during the conflict during the Korean War in the 1950s. Recorded food was highly absorbed by South Korean culture, however, it became an ingredient in one of the country’s favorite dishes, “pude gigi” or “military stew”.
During the lunar New Year, it is sold as a luxury item in emporiums and supermarkets, with special packaging and used as gifts by Koreans.
The state of Hawaii in the United States also has a large market for canned food, which can be found on the menus of many restaurants in the archipelago. It is eaten with eggs and rice for breakfast, for example, mixed with fried rice or a type of sushi, “spam musubi”.
Spam boxes for sale in Seoul: Recorded items are being sold in luxury in some Asian countries – Photo: Ed Jones via BBC
The brand’s reputation after World War II, many years later, will change its name to resemble unwanted messages and junk mail.
According to etymologist Graeme Donald, the story refers to a painting by Monty Python, a British comedian from the 1970s, in which a couple goes to a restaurant where spam is an ingredient in every item on the menu. Although the woman makes it clear that she does not like the recorded food, the maid repeats in a bitter voice: “Spam, spam, spam, spam …”, again a mantra on the chorus by the Vikings. In the scene.
The use of the term as a synonym for annoying and unwanted news began to be a joke among Internet users in its infancy, but soon became universal, with the American radio station NPR Finnbrunden, Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet (“Spam: A Secret History of the Internet”, Free In translation).
The brand’s recent success, now in more than 80 countries, has prompted Harmeal Foods to read an extension of the spam family’s product list, which will be on the shelf by 2023, Snei told an investor conference.
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