Hormel Foods Announces Availability of Fortified Poultry-Based Spread for Purchase under Feeding Programs

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AUSTIN, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL) today announced the availability of
fortified poultry-based spread (FPBS) for purchase under Title I for
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) feeding programs and Title II for
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs. FPBS yielded
promising results in nutrition research. The product was designed by
Hormel Foods and was created to help address malnutrition in children.

FPBS is used as an ingredient that blends easily into customary diets,
and the fortification can be customized to meet the needs of the
recipient population.

For example, the product was tailored to meet the specific micronutrient
needs of children in Guatemala based on findings from earlier research
conducted by Hormel Foods (known as Project SPAMMY®).
In a public/private partnership jointly funded by Hormel Foods and the
Micronutrient-Fortified Food Aid Products Pilot (MFFAPP), administered
by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service under the McGovern-Dole
International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole)
Program, this latest research demonstrated the benefits of supplementing
traditional diets with high-quality protein and micronutrients. During
the trial, more than 160 preschool-age children in Guatemala ate either
a fortified or unfortified version of FPBS on school days over a 20-week
period. The fortified version contained the addition of several
micronutrients, such as vitamins D and B12, which are important
nutrients for children, but are deficient in this area of the world.
Both versions were identical in protein, calories and fat.

The study revealed:

  • All participants showed greater-than-expected improvement in cognitive
    scores;
  • There was a 44 percent reduction in the number of school days missed
    due to illness;
  • Children receiving the fortified version of the product showed
    statistical improvements in vitamin D and B12 levels; and
  • A positive correlation was found between increase in cognitive gain
    scores and vitamin D concentrations in the treatment group.

“It is encouraging to see these results and the success that FPBS is
having in improving the lives of so many children in need,” said Kevin
L. Myers, Ph.D., vice president of research and development at Hormel
Foods.

Dr. Noel W. Solomons, scientific director for CeSSIAM, a partner in the
project stated, “The findings revealed the magnitude of deficiencies of
two vitamins – D and B12 – in young Guatemalans, and FPBS has
outstanding potential to address this situation when it is incorporated
into meals fed to children.”

Hormel Foods has been working with partners in Guatemala since 2008 to
provide FPBS to malnourished children and donated 2.5 million cans of
the protein-based item in 2014.

“Every time I return to Guatemala it is amazing to see the growth of
this project and the positive contribution the product is making in the
lives of so many,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board and
chief executive officer at Hormel Foods. “We are encouraged by the
success thus far and are excited about the potential of FPBS to help
improve the lives of children and families.”

Hormel Foods and its partners, Caritas and Food For The Poor, are also
building opportunities for thousands of families by providing FPBS to
8,300 families, representing more than 30,000 children in Guatemala.
Additionally, Hormel Foods provides scholarships to eight high
school-age students to attend the Villa de los Niños boarding school in
Guatemala City.

*For further details of the study, please see the appendix materials.

About Hormel Foods
Hormel Foods Corporation, based in
Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of
consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the
best known and trusted in the food industry. The company leverages its
extensive expertise, innovation and high competencies in pork and turkey
processing and marketing to bring branded, value-added products to the
global marketplace. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor’s
(S&P) 500 Index, S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats for 2014, was named the
2013 Sustainable Supply Chain of the Year by Refrigerated & Frozen Foods
magazine, and was again named one of “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens”
by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for the seventh year in a row.
Hormel Foods was also recognized as a 2015 Military Friendly Employer by
G.I. Jobs magazine, on the 2015 Best for Vets Employers List by Military
Times, and was named one of the 2015 40 Best Companies for Leaders by
Chief Executive magazine. The company enjoys a strong reputation among
consumers, retail grocers, foodservice and industrial customers for
products highly regarded for quality, taste, nutrition, convenience and
value. For more information, visit http://www.hormelfoods.com.

APPENDIX
Research Study Details:

Millions of children throughout the world suffer from chronic
malnutrition. Our company’s collaborative effort was built on the
premise that changing lives occurs only through building sustainable
solutions. The project focused on delivering proper nutrition through
our expertise in protein and through partnerships. Together with the
USDA, Food For The Poor and in-country partners Center for Study of
Sensory Impairment, Aging and Metabolism (CeSSIAM) and Caritas, we
implemented a feeding program to evaluate the benefits of FPBS for
preschool-age children living in a low income area of Guatemala. The
project was evaluated by an external consultant and was jointly funded
by Hormel Foods and the Micronutrient-Fortified Food Aid Products Pilot
(MFFAPP), administered by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service under
the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition
(McGovern-Dole) Program.

A total of 167 children at a daycare center located in Ciudad, Peronia,
a semi-rural city approximately eight miles outside of Guatemala City,
Guatemala, completed the randomized, double blind trial. The control
group received a daily meal containing unfortified product, and a
treatment group received a fortified version. The fortified product
contained a vitamin and mineral blend that included, among other
micronutrients, vitamin D, several B vitamins including vitamin B12,
iron, zinc and iodine. Anthropometric measurements and blood draws were
completed at both baseline and endline; a subset of 60 children
completed cognitive tests before and after the 20-week trial.

Meals containing the product were prepared on-site and were served at
the beginning of the school day. A 2-week rotating menu was created that
incorporated the product into traditional foods such as doblada,
tostada, chuchito, rice and black beans. Four women were hired from the
community to monitor and record consumption and liking. The meals were
well accepted among the children throughout the 20 week intervention.

Vitamins D and B12 were low in many of the children at the beginning of
the project. Overall 59 percent of the children had vitamin D values
below 30 ng/mL and 19 percent had vitamin B12 levels below 300 pg/mL.

Over the course of the program, school days missed due to illness
decreased and teachers reported that children were better able to pay
attention after eating the meal. Hemoglobin levels increased in both
treatment and control groups. Vitamin D levels increased in the
treatment group and decreased in the control group while levels of
vitamin B12 increased in the treatment group and remained steady in the
control group.

The Bracken Basic Concept Scale – Receptive was administered to assess
intellectual function at baseline and endline for a subset of children.
Both groups had higher scores on the cognitive test at study completion
and a positive relationship was found between vitamin D and cognitive
gain among the treatment group.

Educational workshops were provided throughout the intervention. These
included informational sessions for daycare staff, parents and
caregivers to increase community knowledge of nutrition and food safety.
Workshops covered the importance of micronutrients by life stage and
food-related hygiene. Local experts helped develop and present
information in a culturally relevant format.

The latest research builds on previous work conducted by Hormel Foods
showing vitamins D and B12 are of public health concern in this
population. A 2011 survey of preschool-age children living in urban and
rural locations in Guatemala illustrated that 36 percent and 77 percent
had low vitamin B12 and vitamin D values, respectively. In response to
these results, the product was reformulated to address the documented
nutritional needs of the region.

Contacts

Hormel Foods Corporation
Kelly Braaten, 507-437-5345
media@hormel.com