Canned pork seems like such a simple product, but the 125-year-old company Hormel markets SPAM as so much more than a mix of its 6 ingredients, cooked pork, salt, water, potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrite. Perhaps the most ambitious marketing strategy was the 2004 launch of a museum in the company’s hometown of Austin, Minnesota. The museum eventually established itself as a mainstay of the community and in 2016, a new 140,000 square foot facility opened downtown.
One may wonder how this museum featuring one product (featuring many flavors) will engage visitors. It’s a surprisingly multifaceted experience where you can explore company history, participate in interactive demonstrations and see how different cultures from all over the world prepare and serve SPAM.
SPAMbassadors greet you as you enter the facility, answer questions and lead guided tours on the hour every Saturday and Sunday, and anytime by request. A unique feature is the conveyor belt of cans moving overhead.
The large gift shop features the usual items like apparel and key chains and the more unusual items like SPAM lip balm and air fresheners.
The attraction is well worth a trip. Plan to explore for an hour or so. Nearby parking is normally available and the facility is handicap accessible.