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Feb 20, 2008 09:04 AM

What's with the SPAM monopoly?

Why isn't there a competing product for SPAM? Is it Treet? Something else?

Seems like something so popular would have a competing product, or substitute.

I mean, I can find about 3 or 4 different types of canned tuna, salmon, and chicken. At least 2 major brands of beef stew. And endless varieties of luncheon meats.

But SPAM? Seems like Hormel has cornered the market, or am I missing something?

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  1. I'm guessing SPAM is made from a recipe that Hormel owns and isn't sharing. No proprietary recipe for the other canned goods you mentioned--they're actual foods found in nature.

    1. I've seen plenty of Spam-like products on the shelves. Granted, not in typical supermarkets, but definitely in Asian markets. It's a canned meat mixture of pork, etc. I can't think of any brand names off the top of my head, but they exist. Having said that, I've tried a couple and, while not bad, if you're used to the taste of Spam, other brands will certainly taste different.

      5 Replies
      1. re: leanneabe

        "It's a canned meat mixture of pork, etc"

        Ingredents of original Spam are " Pork and Ham"

        ...hence my fascination with Spam "with real Hormel bacon"...

        1. re: Cathy

          Spam does not contain meat as you know it....mostly "organ" meats and "trim"....nasty stuff....

          1. re: Pollo

            Actually no.

            "On to your questions. The common assumption is that Spam is made of stuff even pigs don't like to admit they've got. Not so, says the nice lady at Hormel Foods, which manufactures Spam. It contains a mixture of ham and chopped pork shoulder. (Ham is the pig's thigh; pork is everything else.) Ham is Hormel's top-of-the-line product, and Spam was created in 1937 partly to use up what was left of the pig after the ham had been removed. But only the wholesome parts."


            1. re: Pollo

              Jenna is right on that one. By FDA regulations, the most questionable thing you can use and still call it just "pork" is the skeletal meat, what's left after you've taken off all the chops and such. Any offal or organ meats have to be labeled as such. If you want to know where some of it goes... supermarket chorizo. There it is, first two ingredients... pork salivary glands and lymph nodes. It's not like there's just a little for extra seasoning, it's the main ingredients!

            2. re: Cathy

              After all these years, I thought SPAM was Specially Processed Anonymous Meat!

              I may get booed for this, but once in a (great) while I get a craving for Musubi.

          2. Hormel may dominate the US market, but 'ethnic' markets often have alternatives imported from other countries. Middle Eastern markets will have non-pork versions. Asian markets have both pork and non-pork versions - some of these alternatives come from Canada. In addition there are the Danish-style hams in oval cans. I've also seen generic or house brands in conventional USA groceries.


            1. leanneable and paulj,

              That's just it. I agree that ethnic markets will carry alot of different canned pork products, but it seems like the U.S. market is dominated, if not monopolized, by SPAM. Seems like a product with such a huge following would naturally lead to competitors ... or, maybe not.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit

                Maybe it's because Spam is one of those products that people either love or hate, with few in between. People who love it either won't try alternatives, or will find fault with them (just doesn't taste right...). People who hate it, probably hate the whole concept (it's not real food, it's not natural, it;s too salty or fatty). So competitors can only fight with lower cost. There's no such thing as a 'better tasting Spam'. :)


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