Hormel Foods' Group VP and President, Consumer Products Sales P.J. Connor
The same could be said of the Columbus brand, with its unique packaging approaches to make charcuterie more accessible and expand usage occasions, or the recently acquired Sadler’s Smokehouse foodservice brand now gaining retail distribution.
What is “Snealing?”
Recognizing that snacking has morphed into so many occasions, Hormel invented a word for this trend. Connor and others use “snealing,” an odd-sounding mashup of “snacking” and “meals,” to describe Americans’ noshing behavior, a term that Snee jokes has nothing to do with his name.
“Consumers are snacking today more than ever before,” affirms Luis Marconi, group VP of the grocery products division. “It is moving across different consumption occasions, and consumer segments are also evolving. You have the good-for-you snacks, and you have indulgence, you have pragmatic snacking, you have entertaining. There are multiple angles for the occasion. So that is a very rich ground for us as marketers to position our brands.”
Hormel’s brands are well positioned because of the company’s balance between serving food retailers and foodservice operators. The company can serve customers however they choose to engage with Hormel brands. This approach proved effective during the pandemic, because as foodservice demand evaporated, Hormel was able to shift capacity to focus on retail where demand was surging. This also meant that the company didn’t have to tap the brakes on promotional activity the way that some CPGs that were less effective at managing supply chain disruptions had to do.
“One of the key things that we did during the pandemic is we kept the advertising going, because we knew that there was going to be an influx of new consumers joining the franchise,” Marconi explains. “Our strategic choice was to say, when these consumers are joining us, we need to give them ideas. We need to give them recipes. We need to try to keep them as much as possible within the franchise, because those are going to be the consumers that are going to stay with the franchise in the future.”