SPAM Bucking Trends & Winning Love in Impossible Market

There’s a lot to love about SPAM, but who knew it would be winning this much love in such an impossible market? But it has. Having just recorded its fifth straight year of record-breaking sales, does SPAM know something other brands don’t? Next generation AI-powered social analytics has some answers, and tips for other food manufacturers to make note of!

But wait, what’s so impossible about this market? Food is food, right? Very true – but SPAM isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of healthy, sustainable living. And each of those things are super important to consumers right now. But SPAM is a food category all its own; and one that should be out of fashion based on these trends, but somehow isn’t.

The Skinny on SPAM

Millennials, who are the demographic all retailers love to shoot for, are having lots to do with SPAMs popularity. At least, right now they are. Other folks have been loving SPAM since it came out in 1937.

history of SPAM

And in some parts of the country, Hawaii in particular, SPAM is a diet staple. It’s found in many forms. They even have a yearly celebration around it – the SPAM Jam Festival in Waikiki, with appetizing Instagram posts to accompany it:

SPAM Jam Festival in Waikiki

And the festival is much more than an opportunity to celebrate SPAM though. It’s a local event, with the support of (and supporting) local vendors. And the festival itself is designed to benefit the Hawaii food bank. It has a decent following.

SPAM Jam supporting local vendors and the food bank

But that community involvement doesn’t fully capture SPAM’s allure. We’ve seen a tv anchor slurp it up on air, so there has to be more to it. Yes, you need to watch:

tv anchor slurping up SPAM on air

So, SPAM is super tasty and comes in a variety of flavors, including the highly sought-after pumpkin spice .  . . and it understands trends.

Capturing Trends & Canning Them for Consumption

Millennials have an odd relationship with their food. On one hand, they’re all about sustainability, but on the other, convenience is super important too. And then we have Gen Z. This demographic may not love processed food, but again – convenience is winning out.

Who knew convenience was such a huge seller for consumers – one that would place unexpected audiences squarely between a rock and a SPAM place? A bit of social listening would alert brands to this intel:

food consumption fueled by convenience tweet

And also, to the equally unexpected idea of health as secondary to these traditionally metal straw using, nature loving and natural-eating audiences.

Though, that’s far from all. For example, exploring sentiment drivers around food trends right now, we can see lots of valuable conversation happening online

Making Consumers Happy

For example – What makes consumers happy? A wide variety of things. Some will make sense for particular food manufacturers to register for future product ideation, no doubt. For some consumers, it’s junk food that makes them happy. Others love traditional foods of their culture that remind them of home. And then there’s a whole other segment that loves to eat out!

ways SPAM makes people happy

And this is just a small sampling of general intel available for exploration via your next generation AI-powered social analytics tool.

Smart manufacturers, like Hormel, are obviously paying close attention to these consumer needs and wants. They’ve kept SPAM consistent, affordable and delicious, with new flavors added as market research dictates. Their following is loyal – and vocal. Social listening helps fine tune this research in our digital age, of course. And it also helps brands make predictions.

AI Studio’s automated theme discovery captures semantically related terms based on the highly relevant topic searches that brands create in NetBase to inform their strategic planning. From there, brands can explore known and unknown ideas, audiences, influencers and trends that emerge, allowing them to win again – or best a less digitally aware competitor.

SPAM is riding high on this latest wave, and it could definitely continue. But, with healthy, sustainable trends growing each day, tracking that ebb and flow and monitoring for rip tides is the wise choice. And shouldn’t your brand be doing the same? Those waves can get tricky, regardless of how sure your footing is in any category.

Reach out and we’ll get your brand back on its boogie board and maybe you can see a tv anchor gushing over your amazing item sometime soon too!