Products

Innovation

Innovation

Our promise is to anticipate, listen and respond to consumer wants and needs with innovative new products that are wholesome and savory.

Topics in this section include:

Innovative New Products and Product Varieties

Hormel Foods and its subsidiaries continue to introduce new products and product varieties to meet consumer wants and needs that are savory and wholesome quality foods. We focus on four platform areas: convenience meals, value-added protein products, value-added fresh meat, and solution products aimed at foodservice deli. The following featured products include some of the newest portfolio additions.

New Farmer John® Products

New ProductsFarmer John recently introduced a line of fresh products aimed at health-conscious consumers. The products include:

  • Extra-lean ground pork endorsed with the American Heart Association (AHA) checkmark and minimally processed with no artificial ingredients. The pork is leaner than most ground turkey or chicken, and the Farmer John® California Natural® pork tenderloin is also endorsed by the AHA.
  • Seasoned lean pork burgers, which all have less than 11 grams of fat and are available in smokey barbeque, cajun-style and savory, garden onion.
  • Reduced fat beef franks, which have 33 percent less fat than original beef franks.

Several sausages and hot dogs were also introduced and are designed to meet the taste preferences of consumers in the Western United States. New sausage varieties include maple chipotle links, apple cinnamon links, hot Italian ground pork and mild Italian ground pork. New hot dogs include big game beef franks, beef and cheese franks and classic premium beef franks.

Hormel® Turkey Pepperoni Minis and Hormel® Pepperoni Stix

As the market leader in pepperoni, Hormel Foods continues to lead the way through the innovation of new products and varieties. Hormel® turkey pepperoni minis and Hormel® pepperoni stix became available on store shelves February 2010. Research showed consumers wanted more ways to use pepperoni in their everyday meals and snacks. Also, parents look for snacks to put in their children’s lunch boxes that are easy to pack and not full of sugar.

New Hormel® Black Label® Bacon Varieties Introduced

Two new Hormel® Black Label® bacon varieties hit store shelves in January 2010. The new varieties – thick slice applewood smoked and thick slice sweet and smokey – provide consumers with flavor profiles that are popular at many restaurants. The thick slice allows for full flavor penetration and both varieties were widely received with consumers.

Jennie-O Turkey Store® Innovations

  • Jennie-O Turkey Store® So Easy® entrees
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store® smoked turkey sausages
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store® slow roasted turkey pot roast for the rotisserie section of the deli

Lloyd’s Woodfire Barbeque® Meats Introduced

Lloyd’s Barbeque Company (Mendota Heights, MN) has introduced LLOYD’S WOODFIRE BARBEQUE™ premium smoked meats – a new line of sauceless, authentic premium smoked meats.

Due to different regional taste preferences, the new sauceless line increases consumer appeal and expands geographical acceptance. For example, sauces in Texas are often based on tomato and chili powders and are thin, tart and vinegary, while sauces in Kansas City (MO) are often thick and sweet and consist of a blend of ketchup or tomato sauce, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, vinegar, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, liquid smoke and even apple juice.

The meats are slow-smoked for hours using real hardwoods like hickory, and the sauceless feature allows consumers to add their favorite sauce in the amount they prefer. These products complement the existing Lloyd’s® barbeque products and enable our company to merchandise a barbeque platter theme at the retail level combined with our ribs and tubs.

Hormel® Compleats® Kids

Several rounds of qualitative and quantitative research indicated an opportunity to create a convenient, nutritional meal for children between 3 and 8 years old. The product is an excellent source of protein and has no preservatives, artificial colors, trans fats or high fructose corn syrup. For example, in one serving of Hormel® Compleats® Kids Pasta & Chicken, there are 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 20 percent of Vitamin A, 8 grams of protein, 4 percent of calcium and 2 percent of iron that a child would need for the day. More nutritional information can be found at http://www.hormel.com/products/pantry/Compleats-Kids.aspx#.

Hormel Foods Expands Pork Mealtime Options

While Hormel® Cure 81® hams have long been a favorite at the dinner table, they are now available in even more sizes and slices to expand family choices for every meal occasion. Each variety contains no preservatives and has no added nitrates or nitrites.

New varieties include:

  • 12-ounce cherrywood smoked ham steaks (three-pack)
  • 8-ounce cherrywood smoked ham steak (single)
  • 12-ounce diced boneless ham
  • 12-ounce cubed boneless ham

Back to Top

Product Innovation Approach

In 2006, Hormel Foods set the ambitious goal of reaching one billion dollars in sales by 2010 from new products introduced since the year 2000. We achieved $1.07 billion in sales in fiscal year 2007 – two years ahead of schedule. Building on this success, the company announced Go for $2B by 2012, a challenge that aims to achieve growth through innovation – $2 billion in total sales of products created since 2000 by the year 2012. In fiscal year 2010, more than 21 percent of revenue was attributed to the aforementioned new products. A total of 13 new products were in development in fiscal year 2010.

To create a culture of innovation at Hormel Foods, we have a team dedicated to innovation management that uses new product development processes in various divisions based on each division’s unique needs. We have been working on a new innovation process scheduled to be rolled out in fiscal year 2011. Annually, we also create a consumer food agenda – a perspective of how consumers are choosing food and feeding their families based on lifestyle and priorities. This is based on research collected by consumer insights, marketing and others at Hormel Foods. Looking forward into 2011, our team found there are three main areas that serve as the foundation for consumers when choosing food:

  1. Situational immediacy (i.e. fitting food into their lifestyles instead of making their lifestyles fit into meal time);

  2. Balancing wellness (i.e. food plays a role in how consumers balance their wellness lifestyle); and

  3. Dynamic value (i.e. consumers are more vigilant of budget).

These three factors then play a role into consumers’ time spent making a meal – with consumers desiring finished and complete meals, as well as having an increased attraction to hobby cooking, and interest in ethnic foods and sustainable and natural brands.

This consumer food agenda helps Hormel Foods understand trends in consumer behavior, including increased transparency and consumer authority, which has evolved because consumers discuss brands in social networks and have access to information like never before. These types of insights help our company respond to changing consumer tastes and ensure we are responding to our consumers and communicating about what they want to know about.

We continue to develop mechanisms for research and are constantly trying new methods to get results. We have devised concept testing protocols to make it easy for product managers to work with and build a database that will help us learn from past experience.

Back to Top

New Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy

Ronald W. Fielding started in this newly created position in September 2010 and has focused on corporate direction and growth by continuing to oversee corporate strategy and the mergers and acquisitions process. Given the importance on identifying and developing future growth platforms, Fielding also focuses on consumer insights, corporate innovation and new channel development teams.

Emerging Markets

Seventy-five percent of Hormel Foods product lines sold in emerging markets are developed to meet basic local needs.

We develop the pricing strategy for emerging markets at the corporate level in collaboration with our local teams and partners.

We measure local purchasing power of low income consumers (<10 USD/day) to ensure affordability of our products and are working on formalizing this strategy. Our progress is gaining momentum.  Winning with lower income consumers is now one of our core international strategies. In every market, we are working to ensure our products are affordable by more and more consumers.

Back to Top

  • Category Management

    Category Management_thmb

    Stephanie K. Postma shares how Hormel Foods became the first manufacturer to earn full certification in category management. View video.

  • Tell Us What You Think

    hormel_foods_logo1

    Please share your thoughts with us about the report.