Nutritious Options

Nutritious Options

At Hormel Foods, we understand that good nutrition is an essential consideration in daily life and consumers are increasingly looking to purchase products that will add to their overall health and wellbeing. For example, two of our value-added items that have seen high demand among consumers include Hormel® Natural Choice® products and Jennie-O Turkey Store® turkey burgers. We are committed to offering a variety of food choices that help provide energy, maintain health and keep the body functioning properly.

In this section you can read about:

Reducing Sodium

As a means to continually evaluate the health and wellness profile of our products, we have established a health and wellness taskforce that meets quarterly to discuss goals. This group, led by the Hormel Foods corporate communications and Research and Development departments, has set a sodium reduction goal for the company. Our goal is that by 2020, we will have reduced sodium levels in select products within our branded retail portfolio by an average of 15 percent.

Results from the 2011 Sodium Reduction Analysis:

  • Hormel® Cure 81® retail hams
    • 14% reduction
  • Hormel® chili
    • 18% reduction
  • Hormel® Compleats® microwave meals
    • 16% reduction

Percent total sales volume of consumer products that are lowered in sodium:

  • Hormel® Cure 81® retail hams, Hormel® chili and Hormel® Compleats® microwave meals reformulated with a sodium reduction or developed within lower sodium parameters make up 8 percent, 42 percent and 71 percent of their product portfolios sales volume, respectively.
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store achieved 9 percent of total sales from products that were either reformulated with a sodium reduction or developed within lower sodium parameters.

Responsible Marketing

Hormel Foods does not target children with advertisements. We continue to offer Hormel® Compleats® kids meals that are marketed toward parents as a convenient, nutritional meal for children. The product is an excellent source of protein and has no preservatives, artificial colors, trans fats or high fructose corn syrup.

Hormel Foods is also a member of the Association of National Advertisers, which works on behalf of marketers on policies, regulations and other issues affecting members. Advertising done by or on behalf of our company complies with the advertising industry’s self-regulation system of codes. These guidelines complement government regulations and legislation and are self-imposed.

There are no incidents of noncompliance with regulations or voluntary codes concerning marketing communications to report for fiscal year 2011.

Use of Ingredients

The production of the products in our diverse food portfolio requires the use of a variety of ingredients and additives. Advances in technology continuously drive change in many of the ingredients that go into our products, including crop and vegetable components.


The adoption of biotechnology techniques has benefited the food industry and the consumer alike by helping to stabilize crop production, reduce grain costs, improve the nutritional content of foods and protect our environment. At Hormel Foods, we regularly review research on developments in plant genetics. By combining the latest methods with our knowledge of consumer preferences, we continue to see significant improvements in the yield and quality of food crops.

Genetically modified crops undergo exhaustive testing and require the approval of the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. Therefore, all ingredients used by Hormel Foods are Generally Recognized As Safe and comply with food safety and nutrition regulations. Visit the Food and Drug Administration website for more information.

Functional Ingredients

Functional ingredients are ingredients that have health improving or disease risk reduction properties. When considering the use of these types of ingredients, a group of nutritionists at Hormel Foods first monitors peer-reviewed studies to fully understand the ingredient under consideration, then conducts its own research.

At Hormel Health Labs, the company has developed products that use functional ingredients to meet special dietary needs, such as those that help individuals with chronic liver disease or high-caloric product needs. For example, Hormel Health Labs offers Hepatic-Aid® II Instant Drink, a dietary supplement that contains essential and nonessential amino acids, carbohydrates and fats in a readily digestible form. This formulation is specifically designed to provide a palatable supplement to the diet of patients with chronic liver disease.

Hormel Health Labs also offers a complete line of products to treat malnutrition, an issue of increasing importance among the elderly, a growing segment of the population.

In 2011, Hormel Health Labs products began to be carried at 200 Walgreens locations across the country.

Furthermore, the company’s Specialty Foods group is considered a “one-stop shop” by food manufacturers and healthcare providers large and small, and is comprised of three business units:

  • Diamond Crystal Brands, which offers expertise in custom healthcare products.
  • Ingredients supplied by the Specialty Products division can be found in many leading brand name products. Within the Specialty Products division, Hormel Foods offers products that include the highest quality Omega-3 fish oils, stocks and broths, pasteurized processed cheeses and imitation blends, milk and whey proteins, dry milk powders, caseinates and isolates, meat ingredients, gelatin desserts, puddings, drinks, seasoning oils, sauces and specialty fats. These products bear brand names familiar to many Americans, such as Building Blocks® and Great Beginnings®.
  • Century Foods International, which specializes in dairy and vegetable proteins and nutraceuticals and offers resources to help consumers with various health requirements.

Our flavor expertise spans all the major protein groups, from beef and chicken to pork and turkey and ham. Customers rely on the company to provide products that other suppliers cannot, and to add quality, value and profitability to their businesses.

Natural Product Offerings

At Hormel Foods, we recognize that more and more consumers today are seeking foods that are minimally processed and have no preservatives. We developed Hormel® Natural Choice® products by pioneering a way to use High Pressure Processing (HPP) for protein products. This technology keeps the product fresh without the need for preservatives, artificial ingredients, nitrates or nitrites. Furthermore, with the acquisition of Fresherized Foods in 2011, we have added, Wholly Guacamole® products to our portfolio of foods treated with HPP.