Spam – the luncheon meat, not the annoying e-mails – is an American Icon. And there is even a museum dedicated to it! Of course it’s called the Spam Museum. It’s located in Austin, Minnesota – the headquarters of Hormel Foods, a Fortune 500 company.
The History of Hormel and Spam
If you ever wondered about the history of Hormel, you can learn about George Hormel’s butchery and how it morphed into the multi-brand company of Hormel under his son Jay. There’s even statues of George and Jay that tell the retirement story of George. Maybe the only historical statues in the world memorializing a retirement announcement?
The World of Spam
See how Spam is used around the world. As a travel blogger I loved these little nooks about how Spam is used in places like Australia, Japan, Philippines, and of course Hawaii. For you trivia buffs: Hawaii has the highest consumption of Spam of any US state.
Spam Can Conveyor Belt
A 390-foot conveyer belt runs overhead in the museum and shop. It contains 20 varieties of Spam – 15 from the USA and 5 international.
Let the Spam Museum send you the other kind of Spam
Use the interactive recipe terminals to send recipes to yourself. If you check the box, Spam will also send you spam e-mails. If you really want to be funny/vindictive make sure you send spam to your friends/enemies.
There are a few places to get a fun photo with Spam:
- Spammy – the big Spam can with arms and legs. If you travel near the holidays, he’s complete with a giant Santa hat.
- Sir Can-a-lot – a cartoon knight and Spam spokesman.
- The Spam Can Height Chart. Fun fact: I am 21 and ¾ Spam cans tall.
Farm Themed Indoor Playground
There’s an indoor playground for the little ones. Especially useful on those cold Minnesota days, like the -10 F day I visited in January.
Beat the Clock – Can Spam by Hand
You can assemble your own can of Spam (a plush version of it) and then hit the button to see how many cans the factory produced in the same time.
Supposedly, the museum has free Spam samples but not were seen on my visit.
The Spam Museum Gift Shop
You can pretty much equip your kitchen, office, and closet with Spam gear. There are 100’s of Spam branded stuff – from pens and magnets, to sweatshirts and stuffed animals. Make sure you pick up your own Spam slicer… slices a full can of Spam in one swoop. Or pick up a 12-pack of Spam varieties.
Spam Museum Location
Austin, Minnesota is about 100 miles south of the Twin Cities. The closest airports are Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) 98 miles away and Rochester (RST) at 35 miles away.