Everything You Should Know About The HoneyBaked Ham Company

The fall season is in full swing, and ready or not, the holidays are just around the corner (we can't believe it either). As millions of Americans start planning their holiday menus, companies like HoneyBaked Ham are gearing up for the start of their peak season.

HoneyBaked Ham has become a family favorite for the holidays. The company is poised to sell millions of its famous glazed, spiral-cut hams to hungry customers all over the country yet again this year. According to past estimates, some HoneyBaked Ham stores will serve up thousands of hams a day as we get closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Along with that, the company will also sell turkeys, an array of side dishes, and even desserts.

If you're thinking of having a HoneyBaked ham star on your own holiday table this year, we've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know about the HoneyBaked Ham Company.

HoneyBaked Ham has been around for more than 60 years and it's still in the family

HoneyBaked Ham has been in business for more than 60 years. The company, which claims to make the world's best ham, was founded in 1957 by a man named Harry J. Hoenselaar. He opened his first HoneyBaked Ham store in Detroit, Michigan, after spending more than two decades developing his method to cook and serve the perfect ham. Smoked, bone-in, and covered in a sweet, crunchy glaze, Hoenselaar's hams quickly became a hit.

Hoenselaar's children eventually took the business their father started and grew it into the household name that it is today. HoneyBaked Ham is still a family-owned business and is currently run by Hoenselaar's granddaughter. While the company has changed and expanded in many ways over the years, its commitment to the tradition and legacy of its founder has remained constant. HoneyBaked Ham says it still makes "every ham the same way Harry did."

HoneyBaked Ham started with the patented spiral slicer

Honey Baked Hams have become a holiday favorite for families across America not only for their unique taste, but because of just how easy they are to serve up. That's by design. The magic behind Honey Baked Ham is the innovative invention that started it all, the spiral-slicer. 

Before Hoenselaar started his business, he worked for years in a butcher shop, and noticed how many customers struggled with carving up hams. So Hoenselaar came up with his own method to slice a bone-in ham. He designed a machine that does all the carving work for you, making it the perfect, easy-to-serve dinner centerpiece. He worked on the invention for more than ten years and filed his first patent for his one-of-a kind spiral-slicer in 1944, forever changing the way we think of and enjoy our holiday hams. Other companies have since followed in Hoenselaar's footsteps, creating their own versions of his spiral slicer. 

The HoneyBaked Ham company has stores all over the country

These days, it's not hard for most Americans to get a HoneyBaked Ham on their dinner table. The company has nearly 500 locations in hundreds of cities across 40 states. Most of them are concentrated in the south and on the east coast. In Georgia alone, there are 44 locations. Florida has the second most locations, at 43 stores, followed by Texas with 38 locations. 

If you feel like skipping those holiday lines at your local HoneyBaked Ham store, you can also have your feast delivered right to your door. The company has partnered with DoorDash and Uber Eats to provide delivery services to customers all over the country from its participating locations.

The states that don't have any HoneyBaked Ham stores include, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wyoming. However, that could change, as the company does offer franchising opportunities.

Each HoneyBaked Ham is hand selected

The HoneyBaked Ham company claims that its premium ingredients and high standards for quality are what make its products so popular year after year. The company says it has a quality assurance team that controls every part of the selection, cooking and distribution processes "from farm to fork... to ensure safety, quality and consistency."

The company also boasts that all of its hams are hand selected, and undergo a rigorous 16-point selection process before they ever make it to the smoker. In fact, only 10 percent of the hams that get inspected are chosen to become a HoneyBaked Ham. HoneyBaked Ham also maintains that it has a long-standing commitment to the ethical treatment and handling of animals. The company says it only works with suppliers who are proven industry leaders when it comes to ethical standards. 

Furthermore, HoneyBaked Ham says it is also focused on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices throughout its supply chain and business model.

HoneyBaked Ham's special cooking process is a well-kept secret

The sweet crunch and smoky flavor of a fresh HoneyBaked Ham is a source of holiday nostalgia for many people. There's a special process the company relies on to create the one-of-a-kind color, texture, and flavor we've come to know and love. While the exact recipe is a family secret straight from Hoenselaar himself, here's what we do know about how HoneyBaked Hams are made. 

After hand selecting the meat, each ham is cured for up to 24 hours. After that, the hams are smoked over a blend of hardwood chips for for another 24 hours, which they say is twice as long as the industry standard. Next, the hams are loaded in the spiral slicer, which continuously rotates to create evenly thick slices throughout the whole ham. Finally, once in store, the secret recipe glaze is applied to each ham one at a time by select employees who have had months of practice creating the perfect coating. The company says during the holidays, its master glazers will glaze as many as 60 hams an hour.

While we don't believe calories count at the holidays, there are third-party breakdowns of the nutritional value of HoneyBaked Hams. One serving of the classic, bone-in ham contains an estimated 170 calories and 9 grams of fat. The hams are packed with protein (about 16 grams per serving), but have a super high sodium content (nearly 1100 grams).

You can get a lot more than ham at HoneyBaked Ham

While the first HoneyBaked Ham store only sold classic, bone-in spiral ham, the company's menu has since expanded well beyond that. Besides offering their original ham in smaller portions and boneless style, the company also sells HoneyBaked Turkey Breast. It's made just like the classic HoneyBaked Ham, with the signature crunchy glaze, and it's already cooked, sliced and ready to serve when you buy it.

You can actually complete your entire holiday meal with HoneyBaked Ham. The company offers a variety of appetizers, like macaroni and cheese bakes and bacon-wrapped chicken. It also makes heat-and-serve sides, including Thanksgiving classics like cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole, and loaded mashed potatoes (with gravy, of course). And don't forget dessert. You can choose from an entire lineup of cakes, pies, and cheesecakes as well. In addition, many HoneyBaked Ham locations also offer a full menu of handcrafted sandwiches, soups and salads, and a full catering menu.

You get a lot of bang for your buck with HoneyBaked Ham. The company's classic bone-in half hams, which can feed anywhere from 8 to 22 people, range from $70-90 depending on the size. A HoneyBaked Turkey will run you about $150 dollars. Most side dishes are about $25 and serve six people. The company also sells a selection of family dinner packages ranging in price from $50 to more than $100.

There's also such a thing as HoneyBaked Ham "hamjamas"

For those of us who just can't get enough HoneyBaked Ham, there's good news. The company not only sells meals, but merch as well. HoneyBaked Ham has an entire line of branded products — from T-shirts and baseball caps, to mugs, even a candle that smells like the company's famous glaze.

If you really want to ham it up this holiday season, there are also the hamjamas. Yes, you read that right. The company makes HoneyBaked Ham-inspired pajamas sets for the whole family. They come in children and adults sizes, so you can get a matching set for your Christmas card this year. The hooded onesies are holiday themed, and feature "seasonal colors, festive 'lights,' and decorative pig tails." Hamjamas for kids cost $20, and adult hamjamas cost $25. Sizes range from small to 2XL. It's the perfect gift for the ultimate HoneyBaked Ham lover.

In 2018, HoneyBaked Ham revamped its brand identity

For those who remember Honey Baked Ham from their childhood, the company looks a lot different these days. In 2018, HoneyBaked Ham decided it was time to refresh its look. The company unveiled a whole new brand identity, complete with a revamped logo and an updated color palette of burgundy and warm orange. The menu got a makeover as well. HoneyBaked Ham released a whole lineup of new, gourmet side dishes and an upgraded lunch menu. 

Then last year, the HoneyBaked Ham Company announced plans to launch a major remodeling program at all of its locations. Stores got a brand new look and feel inside and out. The changes included all new signage, awnings, and upgraded lighting and landscaping outside. Inside, the stores were redesigned to have a more "handcrafted feel and inviting environment that consumers associate with neighborhood delis and butcher shops," according to the company. Stores were also updated with new technology aimed at improving the customer experience.

HoneyBaked Ham is here for us through COVID-19

While the holidays may feel different this year in some ways because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HoneyBaked Ham company is ready to carry on and serve all of its customers safely through the season. Since the outbreak began back in March, the company has posted several updates about the precautions it is taking to protect its employees and customers. 

During the Easter holiday in 2020, the company put several new policies in place, including limited capacity in stores, social distancing, and increased cleaning practices. The company also introduced senior hours, enhanced delivery and pickup options, and even created a discount for customers willing to purchase their ham earlier and freeze it. 

Along with keeping you safe (and well-fed), the HoneyBaked Ham company also wants to keep customers entertained during the pandemic. In June, the company released limited time family dinner packs, complete with conversation starter cards, at select locations. Each pack includes a customizable to-go meal, and a deck of cards with fun and light-hearted prompts designed to "help families encourage conversation around the dinner table... challenging families to recharge and reconnect with each other." The chief marketing officer at HoneyBaked Ham said the goal of the family dinner packs is to help make dinner time easier and more fun for families during an incredibly stressful time.

People wait for hours to get their HoneyBaked Ham for the holidays

If you're planning to stock up on a HoneyBaked Ham for the holidays this year, be prepared for the mad rush. The company is gearing up to do roughly 60 percent of its business in the span of a few weeks. Honey Baked Ham says it serves more than 2.5 million consumers from Thanksgiving to the new year. That's a lot of customers in a short amount of time.

Year after year, there are reports of massive, hours long lines forming at HoneyBaked Ham locations around the country in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. The company has to hire thousands of seasonal employees every year to help meet the demand at the holidays. In 2016 alone, the company brought on 12,000 seasonal workers. The wait times could be even worse in 2020 as the pandemic forces stores to operate at limited capacity.

HoneyBaked Hams are consistently ranked among the best

The HoneyBaked Ham company was revolutionary when it first opened for business decades ago. It's founder has been called the father of the spiral-cut ham. The company's decision to stick to tradition has paid off. Today, Honey Baked Hams continues to be regarded as one of the best holiday hams money can buy. In fact, they were named by The Manual in their list of Best Hams to Cook for Your Easter Feast in 2020.

In 2013, Consumer Reports did a table test of several of the most popular hams on the market, and found that HoneyBaked Hams were the clear winner, describing them as "flavorful and consistently moist and tender." The company continues to get positive reviews from customers for its signature hams, as well as its array of other menu offerings, and the in-store customer service experience.