Iconic canned meat Spam turns 80

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Spam turns 80 today
Happy birthday, Spam!

HOUSTON -- The famous canned meat that some love and others don't quite understand turned 80 Wednesday.

Spam first came off the production line in 1937, and more than 20 years later, the one-billionth can of Spam was produced.

Ken Daigneau was the brother of one of the Hormel Foods vice presidents and won $100 in a contest for naming Spam.

Spam is hugely popular in southeast Asia. In the Philippines, there is a restaurant based entirely around Spam. The Spam Jam Restaurant features the Spamburger, Spam spaghetti, Spam and egg and a variety of other Spam-inspired dishes.

Spam is also served in many places in Hawaii. There's even a McDonald's there that serves Spam items on its breakfast menu. According to the Spam website, there are seven million Spam products sold each year in the Aloha State.

Did you know that there was a group of 60 women called the Hormel Girls who toured across America to generate awareness for Spam and other Hormel products?

Here are more fun facts, courtesy of the Spam website that you may or may not have known about the iconic can of meat:

  • More than 100 million pounds of luncheon meat are shipped abroad to feed Allied troops during WWII in 1941.
  • In 1970, the two-billionth can of Spam products was produced and it made its TV debut in "Monty Python's Flying Circus."
  • And for all of those who were worried about the sodium in Spam, Hormel released a lower sodium version in 1986.
  • Did you know that there are 12.8 cans of Spam products eaten every second?
  • In 1991, the first Spam Museum opened in Austin, Minnesota.
  • A year later, Spam introduced the Spamburger.
  • And meat lovers rejoiced in 2004 when Spam came out with a version with bacon.
  • Spam is sold in 44 countries across the world

Spam ingredients:

  • Pork with ham
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Potato starch
  • Sugar
  • Sodium Nitrite

Click here to read all about Spam's history.