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Hormel brings more to the table

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Following the successful launch of the shelf-stable Hormel Compleats microwave meal range, Hormel Foods Corporation will invest millions in a new US production facility that will enhance the supply of products to its Australian subsidiary.

Hormel Foods Australia general manager, Scott Martin, said the development of the new facility in America was in response to the growing consumer trend and demand for shelf stable convenient meals and highlighted the company’s commitment to this market segment.

“As consumers find themselves with less time for cooking they are searching for more nutritious and convenient meal solutions and more and more companies are capitalising on this trend and developing products to suit,” he said.

“The launch of Hormel Compleats in Australia has been a resounding success, proving consumers are ready to try new concepts and that the shelf stable convenience meals category has immense potential.”

Martin said the Australian market benefited from the millions of dollars invested in product development and testing over the years by its parent company.

“Hormel has been developing shelf stable ready meals and prepared food for decades and is quickly becoming the market leaders in offering convenience meals to a wide range of consumer groups.

“A significant amount of time and money has been spent over the last 20 years developing recipes, refining taste profiles and testing ingredient combinations that offer the consumer a tasty and nutritionally balanced meal.

“This means in Australia we can offer retailers and ultimately consumers greater product innovation, better tasting shelf stable convenience meals and a greater variety of flavours.

“Hormel is unparalleled in the market place for developing protein rich shelf stable meals through our retort processes. The market for convenience meals in America has grown significantly in the past decade and the demand for these products in Australia is following suit.”

A report by Global Industry Analysts Inc entitled Microwaveable Foods reflected Martin’s sentiment outlining the increased demand for convenience foods and predicting the Asia-Pacific market for microwavable meals would exceed $9billion by 2010.

“There is immense potential for the ready-to-eat category in Australia and products like ours only assist in growing the market and bringing the true meaning of ‘convenient’ to life.

“The frozen meal category has led the way in regards to consumer acceptance of ready-to-eat meals but they are not the most convenient option available anymore.

“Shelf stable meals like Compleats can last up to 18 months on shelf and only require 90 seconds to heat. Products like these are shaping a new consumer expectation of convenience but we do face some challenges.

“The major issue is the misconception that shelf stable meals have poor nutritional value, lack flavour and are full of preservatives. This simply isn’t true, we supported the products with a unique television campaign in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year to start dispelling the perception and the feedback we have received proves that.

“Hormel is up for the challenge of growing the convenience meal segment with shelf stable ready-to-eat meals and we have the highest quality product to meet the needs and expectations of the market.”

Hormel Compleats are up to 97% fat free, ready-to-eat in 90 seconds and come in six varieties including:

  • Turkey and Hearty Vegetables,
  • Chicken and Mashed Potato,
  • Roast Beef and Mashed Potato with Gravy,
  • Hearty Beef Stew,
  • Tuna Casserole, and
  • Chicken Breast and Dressing.

Martin said two new varieties will soon be launched nationally.

The Compleats range retail for $4.50 and can be found in the convenience food section of Coles, Woolworths and independent supermarkets nationally.

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