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Spam launch gives chilled meat snack sector a bit of stick.

Monty Python's favourite food is making its first foray into the chilled meat snacking category with a fish finger-like range that can be eaten hot or cold.

Spam Sticks, rolling out next month, are made from strips of chopped pork and ham coated in breadcrumb (rsp: [pounds sterling]1.79 to [pounds sterling]1.99/pack of 10). They are positioned as a ready-to-eat snack, or as part of a main meal.

The new format would help attract both new and lapsed consumers, said Spam producer Hormel Foods.

"We wanted to develop a versatile product that would appeal to a wider audience from lads, to students to professionals,"

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said customer business manager Nicole Judd. "Recent research has shown a strong market for busy professionals and Spam Sticks offer both a convenient and satisfying option."

However, experts suggested the NPD for Spam could cause confusion among shoppers. "When people see a product can be oven baked, they feel it I should be, so it's often more difficult to convince I them that it can be eaten I hot as well as cold," said Lou Ellerton, consultant at branding agency The Value Engineers.

In terms of broadening I its reach, altering consumer j perceptions of the brand was its biggest challenge, Ellerton added, "something I the launch of Spam Sticks I was unlikely to change substantially", she said.

Spam Sticks will be advertised in a new multimedia campaign for the total I brand kicking off this week, and including television I advertising, sampling and social networking activity j on Twitter, Facebook and I YouTube.
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Title Annotation:Monty Python
Comment:Spam launch gives chilled meat snack sector a bit of stick.(Monty Python)
Author:Riley, Lisa
Publication:Grocer
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 25, 2011
Words:264
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