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Sales of Hormel's Spam rise as economy falls: a meaty example of regression toward the mean.

What factors are responsible for the marked upsurge in sales of this canned porcine icon? Could Spam sales serve as an easily trackable benchmark of economic conditions? Could it even be that in his day Allen Greenspan simply picked up the hotline to Hormel to back his decisions on manipulating the economy's interest rates?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080528/a...

http://www.startribune.com/business/1...

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  1. "Spam" is an example of what economists call an "inferior good" - one for which demand rises as income drops. Your whimsical comment has actually already been put in practice. For example, Thai economists used the rise in sales of "Mama" brand instant noodles to predict a severe recession in that economy a few years ago.

    Another inferior good is inter-city bus travel. Most people prefer to travel by air or rail, or even drive themselves, but as the cost of gas/jet fuel rises, expect to see bus travel increase over the summer.

    1. I would hardly call eating Spam the "mean" of our food experience.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Phaedrus

        Spam rocks, and I really don't find it cheap.

      2. I groaned when I saw that article...It's so bad for you...full of sodium and fat...you want to tell people: choose the can of black beans (around 60 cents) NOT the spam for god's sake!

        1. It's funny but when you look at price per pound it ain't that great of a deal.

          But I do remember my mom using Spam when I was a kid with 3 siblings and a father who was a low ranking NCO in the Air Force. She'd chop it up, fry it, and mix it with macaroni and cheese. She was a Depression child who swore she'd never go without meat again, and Spam was close!

          2 Replies
          1. re: coney with everything

            You're absolutely right. Like most canned, processed foods, Spam is not cheap on an $/ounce basis.

            You'd be better off buying something like chuck roast when its on sale, or even ground meat ...

            1. re: coney with everything

              You're absolutely right. Like most canned, processed foods, Spam is not cheap on a $/ounce basis. Convenient maybe, but cheap? No.

              You'd better off buying something like chuck roast when its on sale, or even ground beef.

            2. The original comment has been removed