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Spam sales up as economy heads down

Nov. 16, 2008 at 1:36 AM

AUSTIN, Minn., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- One factory in the United States has been busy for months as the rest of the economy slows down -- the Hormel Foods plant that makes Spam.

The factory in Austin, Minn., has been operating two shifts a day seven days a week producing the canned lunch meat, The New York Times reported. Workers, with all the overtime they can handle, have been told the long hours are likely to continue indefinitely.

Dan Bartel, a business agent for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 9, told the Times that Spam "seems to do well when hard times hit." The lunch meat is reasonably priced protein, if not gourmet food.

Other budget food items are doing well. A spokeswoman for Safeway said sales of rice and beans are up and surveys found that pancake mix and beer sold well in October.

"We'll probably see Spam lines instead of soup lines," Bartel said.

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