chew on this

Where You See Bacon, Hormel, Hillshire See Differentiation and Profit Opportunities

Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2013 03:42 PM

Pork is problematic as just a commodity. So leading meat brands such as Hillshire Farms and Hormel are working on value-added ways to tap into Americans' rising interest in protein consumption and the roles that bacon and other forms of "the other white meat" can play in that trend.

Right now, doing anything with bacon is a challenge because pork-belly costs are at historically high levels, in part due to how pork producers reacted to last year's drought. Prices are expected to ease soon, but in any event, Hormel—maker of Spam and many other meat brands—continues to pursue its "value-add" strategy of emphasizing not just the traditional package of bacon but special flavors such as Pecanwood and Applewood bacons, precooked bacons, and foodservice products.

"A pound of raw bacon [is] never a big moneymaker for the manufacturer," Jeff Ettinger, Hormel's CEO, said in a teleconference with analysts, according to Food Business News. But the differentiated products "can be a contributor to the kind of high margins we are looking for."Continue reading...

let's make a deal

Smithfield Foods Acquisition by Chinese Meat Giant Hits A Lot of Hot Buttons

Posted by Dale Buss on May 29, 2013 05:12 PM

In one huge transaction, the acquisition of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International brings together several vibrant themes of the geoeconomic and geopolitical picture these days. The $4.7 billion deal will sell America's (and the world's) largest pork processor and producer to China's largest meat processor.

It will be the biggest takeover to date of an American company by a Chinese one, at a time when more concerns are being raised in the United States about national economic security and the rise of the Chinese economy in general—and when the Chinese government is urging the nation's private enterprises to become more aggressive about buying up assets abroad, especially in food production and natural resources.

The deal will provide a major export market for American meat at the same time that it helps China address significant shortcomings in its own meat-production process. "This transaction will allow us to access Asia in a big way," C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's chief executive, told the New York Times. "This is an export deal, and they are very interested in exporting products out of the US"Continue reading...

chew on this

New Pork Branding Seeks Right Flavor

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2011 01:30 PM

The U.S. pork industry’s iconic marketing slogan, “The Other White Meat,” was crisp and clear and clever and to the point. And when it was introduced 24 years ago, the slogan connected easily with a generation of American consumers who were becoming uncomfortable with the fat and cholesterol in red meat.

Will pork producers’ new campaign and slogan, “Pork: Be inspired,” make the same kind of connection?

It’s not as catchy as its predecessor, to be sure. But industry executives insist that the new positioning will strike the right note with its main target, which – presumably unlike the audience for “The Other White Meat” — is existing pork eaters.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Recalls, BP, Beyonce and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 3, 2011 05:36 PM

In the News

Alfa Romeo lures European auto giants. 

AOL said to acquire Outside.In, a hyperlocal media network.

Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Nelly Furtado caught up in Gaddafi scandal.

BP denies bonuses to three top executives over oil spill. 

Burberry designer lauded for tech savvy by Vogue.

Chevrolet readies experiential events for SXSW. 

Chrysler recalls a quarter-million vehicles, while spider prompts Mazda recall.Continue reading...

chew on this

Pork Out: New Tagline Suggestions?

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 14, 2010 12:45 PM

Can you believe that the American pork industry has been hamming it up with its "other white meat" tagline for 23 years? It was 1987 when the national Pork Board launched its campaign to change public perception of pork as an unhealthy, fatty meat. Listing pork's competitive nutritional values next to chicken, the campaign declared "Pork: The Other White Meat."

Now, however, the Pork Board is looking for "the other branding campaign." In some ways, the "other white meat" branding campaign did for pork what the Patagonian toothfish's "Chilean Sea Bass" branding campaign did for that rather ugly sea creature.Continue reading...

health fallout

Swine Flu Panic Infects Smithfield Profits

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 8, 2009 07:03 PM

As the media finally gets around to calling this year's pandemic by its real name -- H1N1 -- Smithfield Foods is discovering what month after month of reports beginning "Another has died of swine flu..." can do to a pork producer's bottom line.

Home to an enormous stable of brands, including Butterball, John Morrell, Farmland and Sizzle & Serve, Smithfield reported further quarterly losses in its pork divisions, which it blames on H1N1 fears. Continue reading...

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