Why People Think It Might Be Hard To Find Spam In 2021

Who would have thought that in the year of so many other disasters that not only would demand for Spam skyrocket, but we would also experience a shortage? We're not sure about you, but it's hard to picture a time when Spam wasn't fully stocked in every gas station grocery aisle, gathering dust. But a pandemic has gone and flipped so many things, including shelf-stable canned meat products, on their heads.

According to Supply Chain Dive, Hormel, the makers of Spam, saw a huge spike in demand after lockdowns in June had home cooks turning to classic comfort foods — and cheap ones, at that. Bloomberg said Spam sales rose 70 percent in the spring and early summer. Aggravating the situation was the fact that Hormel had to pause production after outbreaks of COVID-19 sidelined a number of plant workers. To make up the difference, Hormel used up all of their "safety stock" of emergency Spam in the summer (via Supply Chain Dive).

So what's a Spam lover to do?

Hormel executives cautioned in an earnings call in August that further disruptions in production could make it hard to keep up with the high demand for the tinned meat (via Supply Chain Dive). That, combined with higher supply chain costs and extra money spent on COVID safety precautions for workers, leaves some uncertainty for shoppers eager to save on groceries and indulge in hammy, Spam-my treats like Hawaiian fave Musubi and Spam fried rice (via Thrillist and Esquire).

Though updates from Hormel on Spam itself have been scarce since the autumn, the company did announce the opening of a new production facility in late December, which may be a good sign (via Hormel). But currently, Costco members are limited to four low-sodium Spam packages (8-count) apiece online and Sam's Club seems to be setting the Spam limit to one per customer in store — and no shipping availability. Meanwhile, McDonald's came out with a limited-edition Spam-cookie crumb-burger (with mayo) monstrosity in China, says Business Insider (yes: Spam and Oreo-like cookies). It was only available for one day last December, but we have to ask: Could they have had a hand in this Spam-mageddon? Only time will tell.