Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Spam does it again


JAPAN/Check out sales of Spam staying strong in the recession, as consumers eat more meals at home rather than going to restaurants. 

Hormel Foods, maker of the iconic canned ham, posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday and sprinkled a bit more optimism on its full-year forecast.

Spam said it expects its full-year profit to be near the upper end of its previously announced range of $2.15 to $2.25 per share. In the second quarter, which ended April 26, the company earned 59 cents per share, topping analysts’ average estimate of 50 cents.

But the company did say it had some issues with exports, since the H1N1 flu virus prompted some countries to ban imports of U.S. pork products.

Check Out Line: There’s a lot to digest …


Check Out the lineup at Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit 2009.USA-COSTCO/

Executives from various food firms are slated to speak at the Reuters Summit in Chicago beginning today, with the first handful of executives from companies such as Wal-Mart Stores, Campbell Soup and Hormel.

With the economy front and center, executives are expected to discuss the tug of war to keep food prices at current levels, even as they fight hard to entice shoppers to buy their products on a tight household budget.