Hormel Foods has a dedicated group of employees who regularly evaluate our packaging design, looking for minimization opportunities. Additionally, each of these members participates in an initiative to reduce materials in packaging over the course of the year. In calendar year 2014, 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 collaborates with all other departments and examines the entire supply chain for initiatives related to sustainability that will benefit all divisions. In calendar year 2014, this team initiated 61 total projects and completed 38 projects. Combined, these projects resulted in 8.27 million pounds in savings. This represents 68 percent of our goal to reduce product packaging by 25 million pounds by 2020, when combined with our progress since 2012.1 While we exceeded our yearly goal to reduce packaging by 4 million pounds, the majority of our savings were from one very large project. Based on our projections, we may not be able to make our goal to reduce packaging by 4 million pounds next year; however, we anticipate we will still achieve our 2020 goal. 

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.

Product Packaging

Hormel Foods uses approximately 9,700 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.

Recent Projects

To Achieve Packaging Minimization:1

1Savings are estimated annualized savings based on a full year of volume.

Packaging reduction:

In 2014, we became one of the first companies to offer a shelf stable meat product in a clear PET plastic jar with the new Hormel® bacon bits toppings packaging. Aside from this innovative packaging being unique to the industry, it was also developed with environmental sustainability goals top of mind. The Berry Plastics facility that creates these new plastic jars is located only eight miles from Progressive Processing (Dubuque, Iowa), allowing us to reduce transportation emissions. Additionally, by making the switch from glass to plastic, we are saving 6.2 million pounds in packaging materials and using less energy to create each container. Check out the innovative transformation in the video below.

Packaging Reduction

 

We reduced the thickness of the paperboard carton used for our Hormel® Natural Choice® deli meat line, which resulted in a savings of 514,202 pounds.
Packaging Reduction

 

By reducing the primary package of Hormel® dry sausage deli sliced meats by 10 percent and reducing the corrugated shipper, we saved 159,727 pounds.
Packaging Reduction

 

We reduced the bottom film of our one pound layout precooked bacon package by approximately 30 percent, which saved 324,330 pounds.
Packaging Reduction

 

We identified packaging optimization opportunities across our fresh pork portfolio, which resulted in a savings of 501,251 pounds.
Packaging Reduction

 

1Savings are estimated annualized savings based on a full year of volume.