Hormel pleased with early response to REV roll-out

by Eric Schroeder
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AUSTIN, MINN. — Hormel Foods Corp. believes it may have “a very significant franchise” on its hands in the recently launched REV branded snack wraps, said Jeff Ettinger, chairman, president and chief executive officer. He said REV generated between $4 million and $5 million in sales during its first quarter on the market — the third quarter ended July 28.

The REV line of products is available in eight varieties: pepperoni, ham and cheese, peppered turkey, Meat Lovers Pizza, Italian style ham, hot pepper ham, Italian style, and spicy Italian style. Each wrap features a combination of meats, mozzarella cheese and a flatbread wrap.

Each 3-oz serving features between 15 grams and 18 grams of protein, a nutrition component that is called out on the package.

“This product meets the need for a quick, high-protein snack that can be eaten on the go,” Mr. Ettinger said in an Aug. 22 conference call with analysts to discuss third-quarter results.

Updating analysts on the REV roll-out, Mr. Ettinger said Hormel is “really in a solid shape” in terms of all commodity volume.

“We are in the 70% to 80% of the U.S. that has accepted the item, and most of those stores are actively scanning it,” Mr. Ettinger said. He added most retailers are selling between 6 and 8 of the varieties. Four additional varieties are set to debut later this fall and winter.

Mr. Ettinger said some of Hormel’s better new product franchises have been in the $50 million to $100 million sales range, and while he said it’s fair to at least expect REV to be in that range, he added that he would not put that as the ceiling.

“We just have to see what consumers’ reactions are to the items,” he said. “We think over time, assuming the initial REV wraps connect as well with consumers as we think they can, that this can be a platform for other types of products that are more oriented toward a younger audience, toward on-the-go, immediate consumption-type items.

“So we could have a very significant franchise in this.”

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