Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Signs of Recession

Cheap food

You might have noticed more junk mail in your inbox as Internet scams are on the rise but Spam, the original canned meat product made famous by Monty Python and astronauts looking for something to complement their Tang, is expected to reap some serious profits this year.

According to the New York Times, it’s boom times at the Hormel Foods Corporation that manufactures the canned recession-proof meat. Factory workers are racking up overtime working seven days a week to keep up with demand.

Other comfort foods that offer comfort to a marketer’s budget are also up so many Americans may be looking to incorporate macaroni and cheese, Jell-O, and Kool-Aid into their Christmas dinners.

The thing that's interesting about this article is that Spam is not all that cheap. I work in a grocery store, and know that you can buy a large package of bologna that will last longer than Spam for about $1.50 less than a can of Spam. That is...at least in our market. I've noticed that people are stocking up on deals, and our store has been running some killers on canned goods. We've had weeks of 2 for $1.00 on various things. Ramen Noodles are still running about $.17 a package. That and some cheap frozen vegetables make a perfect, hearty meal (or in my case, two meals) and the vegetables if not overcooked can be vitamin packed. I have been leaning heavily on my employee discount by buying the store brand, and haven't hurt too much in this slow down.

I also think that the business I'm in is a pretty good place to be right now. People will need groceries, and they have begun to slow down eating out, so our business has actually been up. I was told the day after Thanksgiving would be slow at work, and for our particular store it was. The weekend came and we were swamped all day, yet again. People are spending money and stockpiling their pantries. I know I did when we started running bargains. I don't know how bad it will get before it gets better, but am told and seem to think we are at the bottom. How long we hang out here at the bottom is another issue.

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