Sales of the ultimate hard times food, Spam, are thriving just as they have during each rough spot in the U.S. economy since Spam was first made.
Spam holds a special place in America’s culinary history, both as a source of humor and of cheap protein during hard times.
Invented during the Great Depression by Jay Hormel, the son of the company’s founder, Spam is a combination of ham, pork, sugar, salt, water, potato starch and a “hint” of sodium nitrate “to help Spam keep its gorgeous pink color,” according to Hormel’s Web site for the product.
Because it is vacuum-sealed in a can and does not require refrigeration, Spam can last for years. Hormel says “it’s like meat with a pause button.”
During World War II, Spam became a staple for Allied troops overseas. They introduced it to local residents, and it remains popular in many parts of the world where the troops were stationed.
Spam “seems to do well when hard times hit,” said Dan Bartel, business agent for the union local. “We’ll probably see Spam lines instead of soup lines.”
Even as consumers are cutting back on all sorts of goods, Spam is among a select group of thrifty grocery items that are selling steadily.
Spam, it taste like crap but it’s affordable!
Thankfully, my personal economy hasn’t gotten to this point yet…
but you never know when it might.