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Major Hormel brands are lightweighted for substantial materials savings

Product packaging ranging from cartons and glass jars to tubs and corrugated cases slim down in Hormel’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint.
FILED IN:  Sustainability  > Strategy

Following its reduction of 5.2 million pounds of product packaging in 2008, Hormel Foods Corporation  has announced the results of several new packaging projects.

“Our new initiatives build on about 40 packaging reduction projects completed in 2008 and reflect the way we continuously look for means to improve the packaging of our products and reduce our environmental footprint,” says Daniel S. Miller, research and development manager of packaging development at Hormel Foods. “In this process, we work with our suppliers to find innovative solutions.”

New packaging reduction highlights and projected savings include:

• The elimination of extra room in the Jennie-O Turkey Store burgers carton, which is expected to have an annual paperboard savings of more than 175,000 lb.

Lloyd’s barbeque tubs,  which no longer have an extra paper sleeve. This modification will eliminate enough solid waste to fill 22 garbage trucks and save more than 660,000 lb of paper fiber annually.

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• A reduction in the thickness of the glass used to produce each jar of Hormel bacon bits. This will produce annual material savings around 411,000 lb.

• Reconfiguration of the shipping box for Hormel Compleats microwave meals. This will remove 23% of the material required to make the previous corrugated packaging box and will generate an annual materials savings of 1.2 million lb. In addition, changes to the size of the carton flaps of the product and reallocation of materials will result in annual savings of more than 980 million lb of solid waste.

• Hormel party trays packaging, which was redesigned to eliminate the need for shrink wrap, will produce an annual savings of approximately 100,000 lb. The corrugated case to ship the product will be smaller, resulting in a corrugated material savings of more than 174,000 lb per year.

• A redesign of the shipping box for Hormel pork ribs, butts, and bone-in products. This offers more strength while creating an annual corrugated materials savings of about 2.4 million lb.

• A reduction in the height, width, and length of each box used to ship Hormel pepperoni. This increased the amount of product on each pallet, saving materials and reducing the number of trailers needed each year. The anticipated savings is 188,000 lb of wood fiber annually and 49,000 lb of corrugated.


• Changes to the shipping of canned food products made by Hormel Foods. This will result in efficiencies that reduce the number of pallets needed annually by 14,573 and will require less plastic and bundling film.

These packaging reduction projects are part of the overall corporate responsibility strategy and goals set by Hormel Foods. Company-wide commitments in the areas of people, process, products, performance, and philanthropy are highlighted in the 2008 Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility Report.

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