Hormel Foods has a dedicated group of employees who regularly evaluate our packaging design, consistently looking for minimization opportunities. Additionally, each of these employees participates in an initiative to reduce materials in packaging over the course of the year. In calendar year 2015, each member of the team had a goal to identify 500,000 pounds of materials savings, amounting to a group goal to reduce packaging by 4 million pounds a year.

The packaging team collaborates with all other departments and examines the entire supply chain for initiatives related to sustainability that will benefit all divisions. In calendar year 2015, this team initiated 38 total projects and completed 37 projects. Combined, these projects resulted in 1.61 million pounds in savings. When combined with our progress made since 2012, these savings represent 75 percent of our goal to reduce product packaging by 25 million pounds by 2020.1 While we did not reduce packaging by our yearly goal of 4 million pounds, we anticipate we will still achieve our 2020 goal.

Due to the breadth of input materials used in production and packaging, we cannot report on the total weight of materials used throughout the company until we have a reliable process to measure and track this information.

Product Packaging

Hormel Foods uses more than 10,000 unique items to package and produce our products, including corrugated paperboard, labels, films, cans, plastic bags, displays, glass containers, metal closures and plastic closures. Approximately 80 percent of our product packaging by weight is recyclable and/or made from recycled materials.

Recent Projects

To Achieve Packaging Minimization1:

We changed the orientation of the cartons inside the corrugated boxes for our microwave bacon, which resulted in a more efficient cube shape. We were also able to reduce the thickness of the corrugated boxes. These changes resulted in a savings of 301,807 pounds. An added bonus was that we were able to increase the amount of product on each pallet we ship, which reduces fuel usage and emissions from trucks used to transport our products to customers.

Packaging Reduction
By removing a small portion of the headspace of an open stock burrito case, we were able to add an additional layer of product to the pallet pattern to improve shipping efficiencies. These changes resulted in a total material savings of 137,190 pounds.
Packaging Reduction
We reduced the thickness of the plastic in one of our snack trays, which resulted in a savings of 98,570 pounds.
Packaging Reduction
This past year, our subsidiary, Farmer John (Vernon, Calif.), completed seven projects for a total of 35,963 pounds of material savings. Material savings included films, paperboard, corrugated and glue.
Packaging Reduction

1Savings are estimated annualized savings based on a full year of volume.