Spam may be one of the most interesting items on the supermarket shelves even though it may not seem like it. The canned meat is 80 years old and people everywhere still eat it regularly, even though a lot of them don't really know what it is.
Over eight billion cans of spam have been sold in the world since it was launched in 1937. It's celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, so it's time to finally learn how this product was made.
Hormel Foods Corporation created the meat product as a cheaper alternative to a lot of items on the market. The other thing about Spam that made it so great was that it didn't require refrigeration. You could keep it in your pantry without it going bad!
The company actually held a contest to find the name of the new invention. The winner of the contest was Kenneth Daineau who won $100 for getting chosen. It is a little controversial that he won, because his brother was Hormel's vice president at the time, but it's a good name anyways!
In the 1940s, Hormel had another contest, but this time it was to get fan-submitted recipes that would get turned into a recipe book. Spam's popularity skyrocketed during WWII. It was cheap and easy to send with soldiers, so it quickly became an important part of their diet. They actually also used the grease from the Spam to do a few things including lubricating their guns and waterproofing their boots.
Popularity of the product has continued to rise over the years. It has had countless different marketing techniques over the years, but what is it actually made of?