Hormel sues company with Spam-like can

Published 7:00 am Friday, April 1, 2011

AUSTIN — Hormel Foods is suing a company based in the Netherlands that makes meat with a package design similar to Spam.

The Austin food maker has filed a federal lawsuit against Zwaneberg Food Group, accusing it of producing a canned meat with a yellow-on-blue design that’s “confusingly similar” to the iconic Spam can.

Zwaneberg makes its “Prem” lunch meat in Cincinnati. Hormel and Zwaneberg have a manufacturing agreement that allows Zwaneberg to make lunch meat on behalf of Hormel, but it’s agreed not to sell that meat to companies that use packaging that could be confused with Hormel’s.

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The Austin company says it then discovered Zwaneberg was selling Prem with a yellow-on-blue design.

Hormel has made 7 billion cans of Spam since 1937.