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SPAM® Celebrates 75 Years

7 Billion and Counting

You have to give them props. SPAM® is celebrating its 75th anniversary this month. And, after years of people playing with their brand (SPAM bandages, anyone?) they’ve put out two new flavors to commemorate the event.

Not just any flavors. No, these are flavors meant to make you sit up and pay attention. They describe the Jalapeno as “the perfect way to skewer some flavor and add a kick to kabobs.” The Black Pepper is meant to “spice up any sandwich.”

SPAM flavors aren’t new—there is classic SPAM. SPAM with cheese. Turkey SPAM. Bacon SPAM. Lite SPAM, and more. You can get SPAM Spread, and you can serve SPAM for any meal of the day.

It’s perhaps biggest in Hawaii, where they have an annual Waikiki SPAM Jam® Festival and sample recipes made by some of Hawaii’s most innovative chefs. Hawaii is also where McDonald’s features SPAM on its breakfast menu.

There is a Broadway musical, SPAMALOT™, that spurred the introduction of the SPAM Gold Honey Grail collector’s edition. There is a SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota.

Need more? SPAM products are sold in more than 44 countries, and are considered luxury goods in parts of Asia. The Great American SPAM Recipe Challenge is held across the U.S. each year, with last year’s winning recipe something called Mini Maple SPAM Doughnuts. SPAM was a World War II commodity, with more than 100 pounds of it shipped abroad to feed allied troops.

For the record, we sampled the two new flavors in The Food Channel Culinary Center, with odds going just slightly to the Black Pepper. We found that even those who were originally SPAMophobic turned into, if not fans, at least, “OK, I get it” kind of people. One tester added, "Wow, that Spam is not like what Mama used to make."

After all, you can’t make fun of a product that has sold in excess of seven billion cans.