Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Knee Deep in "SPAM"

Sorry about the delay in posting this am. I’ve been knee deep in “SPAM”. No, not spam e-mail, but the actual product SPAM. You know, as in the canned meat. We’re in the midst of trying to develop a creative idea for SPAM that reaches the crux of our audience (the readers of Field & Stream and Outdoor Life). SPAM has this new single serving pouch that they’re taking to market and will be supporting the launch with an ad campaign this fall.

The new SPAM single serving package

I know most of you are disgusted by SPAM, and truth be told I’m not the biggest fan of it either. As a child, all my father ate were SPAM sandwiches – cold ones at that. He used to tell me all the time I was fortunate that we were able to enjoy and afford warm food like White Castle and KFC for dinner. But on occasion he’d whip up some SPAM sandwiches for me to remind me how fortunate I was. I cringed and protested, but ate them begrudgingly. And with lots of ketchup.

I noticed that the Spanish deli across the street from me has tons of SPAM cans on the shelves, so I know it’s still popular in some hoods. But by and large, for those living in the metropolis areas of NYC, LA, Chicago, etc, SPAM is on the lowest end of the food chain. Some people and some restaurants probably would resort to eating dirt before they ate SPAM. Regardless, in the heartland, SPAM still goes strong.

Actually I found out through a colleague (and SPAM expert – he co-authored the SPAM cookbook) that the Asian community, specifically in the northwest, has taken quite a liking to SPAM. Maybe it’s because of its “tofu-like” texture, or the fact that like most Asian cuisine, SPAM contains ridiculous amounts of sodium. In fact, this single serving package I have on my desk has 730 mg (or 30% of your daily allowance) of sodium. Actually out of the 210 calories contained in this 3 oz. serving, a whopping 140 calories of fat. Ouch. However it is a “low-carb snack” (only 2g of carbs) and does contain 14 g of protein and 4% of your necessary iron for the day. So it’s not that bad for you (unless you’re watching your cholestoral of course).

Although I’ll give Hormel (the parent company) their due. They have come up with an easy and convenient way to eat SPAM on the go. Much like the tuna manufacturers have developed easy-tear pouches for tuna, the SPAM single serving is great for those in need of a quick, portable snack. Actually SPAM lists a whole “SPAM Idea O’ Wheel” of ways to eat your SPAM single. The ideas include a SPAM Egg & Cheese on a muffin, a SPAM mac & cheese, a “SPAMburger” and even a SPAM necklace. Although they recommend using the package to make a necklace, not the actual piece of SPAM to make the necklace. Although if you’re ever in the mood to get mauled by a dog or a pack of hungry wolves, then by all means make yourself a SPAM necklace.

Anyway I’m gonna get back to creative thoughts about SPAM. We have an idea centered around the annual SPAMARAMA event in Austin, Texas. Next year is the 30th anniversary of the event so we’re thinking one lucky winner can win a trip down to “SPAM heaven” and delight in eating nothing but SPAM for a few days. Personally, I’d take a White Castle or Popeye’s trip of the same variety…but hey, how often can you get to eat sweet & sour SPAM?

1 comment:

neil from the uk said...

I think toe nails have more flavor than spam!