Chilly Economy Good for Beloit's Hormel Chili

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

As we know, the dollar can go a lot further if we cook at home. Especially if you choose cheap ingredients. And one local company that makes reasonably priced and protein-filled food items, is doing fairly well these days.

That company is Hormel foods. Workers there are celebrating 35 years in Beloit. Their biggest products are chili and Chi-Chi's salsa. A typical can of chili goes for $1.59. Of course, chili can be a meal in itself. So being a good bargain, Hormel is selling more chili now, than during most times. The company's first quarter earning are slightly down, but managers say they expect business to pick up as more families gather round the dinner table.

"I think you're seeing more meals at home and maybe bigger meals eaten together, so I think some of the products offered that fit that for instance cured ham had a great season during the winter as well," says Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger.

Hormel has been in business for 117 years. They produce 360-thousand cans of chili a day, 500 an hour and taste test every two hours.

Three-hundred people work at Hormel. Managers tell us they're working on a new marketing campaign to boost sales in their microwave meal division.


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