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Hormel James Snee
Jim Snee | Hormel Foods
on May 19, 2016

COO: Jennie-O promotion investment paying big dividends

Jennie-O Turkey Store’s ‘Make the Switch’ campaign helped company improve its position in turkey, ground meat markets

Ever since Jennie-O Turkey Store launched its “Make the Switch” promotional campaign in 2010, the company has enjoyed continued growth. A lot of money has been spent on the campaign, but James Snee, president and chief operating officer of Jennie-O’s parent company, Hormel Foods, said the investment was well worth it.

However, when the company -- along with many of its competitors – was hit by the avian influenza outbreak in 2015, the Make the Switch campaign was suspended.

With Jennie-O Turkey Store flocks repopulated and turkey supply levels now more normalized, Snee, speaking during the BMO Capital Markets 11th Annual  Farm to Market Conference on May 18, said he is eager to see Make the Switch advertisements returning to the airwaves this summer.

Make the Switch highlights turkey’s attributes

The intent of Make the Switch is to help the company capitalize on the continuing trend in which U.S. consumers are seeking leaner meat protein options. Through its commercials, Jennie-O Turkey Store highlights turkey’s attributes, such as its flavor and versatility as an alternative to other ground meats.

Promotion has produced good results

Snee admitted that Jennie-O Turkey Store has “by far” outspent its competition in advertising, but notes that it has been well worth it.

“That investment is paying huge dividends, as the awareness of the Jennie-O brand is now over 95 percent, and we are a clear market leader through these efforts to build the brand,” he said.

“And our advertising efforts are showing up at the retail level, driving both category growth and share growth. Jennie-O’s share of ground meats has shown incredible growth over the last five years. In fact, Jennie-O lean ground turkey ranks as the No. 2 item among all exact weight items in the meat department nationally. This includes items like ground beef, bacon, sausage chubs, hot dogs and chicken strips.”

With the relaunch of the campaign, Snee feels good about the prospects that history may repeat itself.

“The advertising support for our brands has never been stronger, and we’re confident that this investment will continue to translate into top-line growth for years to come,” he said, adding that retailers are looking to provide more store spacer for Jennie-O products.

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