2004 Meat Processor of the Year

At age 113, Austin, MN-based Hormel Foods is one of the industry’s most consistently profitable companies — currently generating $185.8 million in annual net earnings. As a capital-investment leader of new processing technology, Hormel’s strides as a new product development pioneer and brand baron are a matter of record. More than brand recognition, Hormel’s labels carry brand equity, which translates into product pricing power.
The company practically single-handedly strengthened the pork category demand with its contemporary value-added cooked products, while continuing to maintain guardianship over its venerable SPAM™ and Dinty Moore brands, among other revered brands developed many years ago.
The NATIONAL PROVISIONER proudly proclaims Hormel Foods — a shining example of meat-industry business sophistication — and its company of 16,200 associates as 2004 Processor of the Year. Specific accomplishments include:
• Branded pork products as a percentage of the total pork category grew to 76 percent in 2003 from 69 percent in 2002. Jennie-O Turkey Store Inc. branded products increased to 82 percent of total 2003 sales.
• Hormel also increased dividends for the 37th consecutive year and issued its 304th consecutive quarterly dividend payment. Meanwhile, a four-year labor agreement was signed, covering more than 75 percent of all represented processing facility employees.
• A joint venture with Cargill Inc. positioned Hormel to gain increased branding recognition in the fresh meat case.