Hormel mainstay products reach 75 year milestone

by Bryan Salvage
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AUSTIN, MINN. – In 1935, Hormel Chili and Dinty Moore products were introduced. Each leading category brand began with a single product – Hormel chili con carne and Dinty Moore beef stew. Today, both feature almost 20 varieties combined.

Google metrics show “Hormel chili” averaged 12,100 searches monthly in 2009, more than twice the number of its nearest competitor brand (4,400). Over the same one-year period, “Dinty Moore” products averaged 10,000 monthly Google searches compared to 390 per month for its nearest competitor.

During the 1940s, the team of George Burns and Gracie Allen along with song and dance troupe, the Hormel Girls, were enlisted to promote these burgeoning brands. In the 1930s, characters Jiggs and Maggie from “Bringing Up Father” were used in Dinty Moore brand advertisements, and later in the 60s and 70s, a lumber jack character was introduced, proclaiming “First name’s Dinty, last name’s Moore,” who placed his signature thumbprint on every can.

Utilizing celebrities proved to be a popular route in promoting Hormel chili. Ray Milland appeared in print ads in the 40s and in the 80s professional football player Fran Tarkenton was tapped to promote Hormel chili as an official training table food.

Dinty Moore products remain the number-one-selling stew in the nation. Dinty Moore products have evolved from traditional cans into convenient microwavable meals, Dinty Moore Big Bowls, and most recently Dinty Moore Hearty Meals™.

Enjoying higher than an 80% brand recognition, Hormel chili is the category’s leading seller and has the highest percentage of loyalty among all national chili brands, the company said. Most recently, Hormel Chili Master, a premium chili offering, was introduced.

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