Happy birthday, Spam! Hawaii's beloved canned meat turns 80

Happy birthday, Spam! Hawaii's beloved canned meat turns 80

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Spam, the canned meat Hawaii has come to love, turns 80 this week.

From its roots during the Great Depression to present day, Spam has become a household name over the past eight decades -- especially in Hawaii, where 7 million cans of Spam are consumed each year.

Hormel Foods first introduced the lunchmeat meat on July 5, 1937, and since then, it has earned praise from soldiers and civilians alike during the Great Depression, according to the Spam website.

Ken Daigneau, brother of a top executive in the company won $100 in a competition for naming "Spam" as a combination of "spiced ham."

The meat product is made up of ham, salt, water, potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrate.

Spam's website says Hawaii's love for the canned meat began during World War II when the company shipped more than 100 million pounds of Spam to soldiers.

Since then, Spam has become a local must-have. It's even served at fast-food joints like McDonald's and Zippy's.

It didn't take long for the food creation to catch on. The one-billionth can of Spam came off the assembly line in 1959 and surpassed its eighth-billion can in 2012.

Currently, nearly 13 cans of Spam are eaten every second around the world in 44 countries and 15 different varieties.

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