2012 Progress: Hormel Foods uses more than 4,600 unique items to package and produce our products, including corrugated paperboard, labels, films, cans, plastic bags, displays, glass containers, metal closures and plastic closures. Approximately 80 percent of our product packaging by weight is recyclable and/or made from recycled materials.

Hormel Foods has a group of employees dedicated to packaging design who continuously look for minimization opportunities, and each member participates in an initiative to reduce materials in packaging. In 2012, each member of the team had a goal to identify 500,000 pounds of materials savings, amounting to a group goal to reduce packaging by 4 million pounds a year. The packaging team works with all departments and examines the entire supply chain for initiatives related to sustainability that will benefit all divisions. In 2012, this team initiated more than 69 total projects and completed 40 projects. Combined, these projects resulted in 4.05 million pounds in savings.

Examples of successful projects include:

  • In partnership with a key can supplier, we identified an opportunity to reduce the basis weight of 15-ounce cans and end materials for Hormel® chili, Stagg® chili, and Dinty Moore® beef stew. After extensive testing to prove the reduction, we successfully completed the conversion. These changes will result in 870,000 pounds of material savings in the can, and 296,000 pounds of material savings in lids.
  • For our Range Brand® bacon product, we eliminated the carton from its packaging, which will save approximately 109,000 pounds of paperboard annually.
  • With our Hormel® Country Crock® refrigerated side dishes, we switched to an in-mold label package (i.e., label is molded into the plastic container and lid), which eliminated the need for a paperboard sleeve. This paper weight savings totals 875,000 pounds annually.
  • Due to the breadth of input materials used in production and packaging, we cannot report on the total weight of materials used throughout the company until we have a reliable process to measure and track this information.

    “Country Crock” and “Shedd’s Country Crock” are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies and used under license. All rights reserved.

Read what our packaging experts have to say about reduction efforts within the company on CSRWire.