It was announced recently that the Hormel company, known for such delicacies as Dinty Moore Stew and Spam, beloved of former servicemen, purchased the Skippy Peanut Butter Company from Unilever for $700 million. That’s a lot of peanut butter.
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A representative for Hormel said they purchased Skippy to balance out their product line and as an entry to the China market where Skippy is the number one peanut butter. I never realized there was any peanut butter in China and now I find that it’s a growth market. China doesn’t even eat much bread, so I’m not sure how peanut butter is used there. A dollop on steamed rice perhaps? Maybe a swath across the dim sum or tucked into the beef and broccoli.
My suspicious mind makes me suspect the worst. Is Hormel, perhaps planning for a dystopian future? Dinty Moore Stew, Spam and Skippy can last forever and ever into the unknown — perfect for waiting out The End of the World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI). Does Hormel plan to stockpile cans of Spam, whip up billlions of batches of Dinty Moore Stew, and warehouse zillions of jars of Skippy for a future in which those items will be indestructible gold? What if Hormel goes after the Hostess recipes? With Twinkies added to the Hormel and Skippy lineup, they could rule the world.
Looking at the list of other Hormel products like Stagg chili and HerbOx bouillions makes me think they’ve been planning this for awhile. Products designed for the Apocalypse or TEOTWAWKI. Preppers all over the world have already filled their bug-out bags — where do you think all the Twinkies and Hostess CupCakes went? If the @#$% hits the fan, they’ll be ready … and so will Hormel.
With too many dystopian movies under my belt, I can envision it now: The Big Bomb or the Colossal Meteorite Collision or Revelation or another Fiscal Cliff happens. The world is smoldering rubble and only the preppers, survivalists and warehouses with Hormel/Skippy products survive. Hormel, from the depths of their heavily armed and fortified warehouses, begins trading stockpiled cans of Spam for power and Twinkies for medical supplies. Hordes of reality show actors, politicians and people wearing Dolce Gabbana sunglasses, starving because they don’t know what to do with an unpeeled carrot, crawl out from inside their safes and find their way to the Hormel mecca, their designer clothing inadequate for the elements. They have nothing of value to trade except their carefully maintained bodies which are also indestructible — at least some of the parts are. Hormel puts them to work. When Hormel reveals they purchased Tang from Kraft before TEOTWAWKI, world domination is complete. Hormel and poor nutrition rule the world.
Perhaps, one day, wealth will be measured, not by force of arms or mighty machines, but by the jar or can. Power will come, not to he who wields the sword or the pen, but to the one with the Twinkies and the most cans of Spam. With the purchase of Skippy, Hormel’s plan for world domination has begun. On the day they announce they’ve bought up Hostess and Tang, I’m packing my bug-out bag.
Wendy Schultz is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. Her column appears bi-weekly.