SPAM Celebrates 85 Years

Little blue can of “spiced ham” celebrates a milestone birthday.

July 5, 2022

2 Min Read
Spam Musubi birthday cake.
Spam Musubi birthday cake.Hormel Foods Corporation

PAM has appeared on licensed products from calendars to T-shirts and shoes. It has been used to create tasty dishes by Food Network chef, Sunny Anderson, in a traveling food truck and turned into a food-branded Yahtzee game. Now, the SPAM Brand has announced its 85th birthday celebration. 

SPAM was first introduced on July 5, 1937. The brand has evolved from a wartime delicacy to a trending ingredient on TikTok, a 16,000-square-foot museum, a celebrity chef staple, an annual Hawaiian street festival and much more. The iconic brand is now reflecting on 85 years of recipes, memories and cultural celebration – all while looking ahead to what is next. 

Jay Hormel and Hormel Foods Corporation introduced SPAM in 1937 with six simple ingredients – pork with ham, salt, water, potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrite. The goal was to create a convenient and affordable protein with an extended shelf life. SPAM got its name from Ken Daigneau, the brother of a Hormel Foods vice president, after he won a contest and $100 for naming the product. 

During World War II, more than 100 million pounds of SPAM luncheon meat was shipped abroad to feed allied troops. The product also reached England and the countries of the Asian Pacific, where rationing and American GIs initially made the canned meat a necessity. Soon it was adopted as a featured ingredient in several popular dishes. In 2022, SPAM shows no signs of slowing down. From tacos to Korean barbeque to SPAM Musubi, 12.8 cans of SPAM products are consumed every second.  

The brand has also hit several other milestones, including: 

  • More than 9 billion units sold across 48 countries

  • 11 varieties featured in hundreds of delicious and creative recipes

  • Seven years of consecutive record sales

  • Almost 500,000 visitors to the SPAM Museum, which can be visited in person or virtually 

SPAM products and recipes are on the menus of more than 700 American restaurants, available at 7-Elevens and McDonald's in Hawaii and in the pantries of celebrity chefs like Dale Talde, Jordan Andino, Jamie Chung, Roy Choi and more. 

"From recipes passed down from generation to generation to family get-togethers, people's connection to the SPAM brand is deeply rooted in longevity, versatility, convenience and cultural heritage," says Steven Venenga, vice president, marketing, SPAM Brand. "While we celebrate all that the SPAM brand has accomplished, the most important achievement is the inspiration and joy this little blue can has given its fans in the kitchen and beyond." 

As for what is upcoming, the brand is eager to share several announcements later this year, including a new limited-time SPAM variety that is sure to excite around the holiday season. 

For more information about SPAM and recipes, visit

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