Lately we’ve spent a lot of Grinder bandwidth documenting the rapid increase in food prices. But we hadn’t guessed that price-wary shoppers were being driven to Spam (the processed meat, not the unsolicited emails regarding priapic enhancement): The Associated Press reports that over the last 12 weeks, sales of Monty Python’s favorite canned meat have risen more than 10 percent. The AP claims that “consumers are turning more to lunch meats and other lower-cost foods to extend their already stretched food budgets.”
BloggingStocks says this is more evidence that Americans are going on a “recession diet.” But I’m not buying it. The same AP story also reports that Hormel Foods, Spam’s manufacturer, launched new national advertising in January; the company itself credits the increase to that campaign and new products like Spam Singles, the loneliest of all lonely foods. And even the AP reporter can’t find enough man-in-the-street quotes to justify the story’s thesis: By the end, she’s reduced to quoting a customer who’s buying not Spam, but every college dorm’s low-budget standby, ramen. That’s not much of a trend story, though.