Innovating Hogs

smithfield

Don’t pretend that you didn’t know hogs are innovative! They can build straw homes, go wee-wee-wee all the way home, and my favorite part, turn slop into chocolate covered bacon. Okay, so maybe none of that is exactly true, but at Smithfield Foods, they make it all seem possible.

Our visit to Smithfield’s Innovation Space was absolutely Ham Heaven. The pigs may not dream of it, but I sure do. First, there is an immaculate television-ready kitchen, complete with cameras and commercial grade appliances. It is here where they host commercial customers, for example world-wide fast food restaurants, and demonstrate the preparation and serving of Smithfield’s latest product. There’s a good possibility this new product was specially ordered by the customer and has spent months and months in development in the Innovation Space. There is also a prep kitchen where the chefs, food scientists, and innovators at Smithfield might do the less glamorous parts of preparation – you know, the parts where your hands are covered with slippery marinade and you have a hair tickling your cheek and you try to use your sleeve to wipe the hair away and you drip marinade all over your other sleeve and this saga continues until you’re a hot mess. I kid. I know that only happens at my house. (#hotmess) I’m certain Smithfield’s food prep looks noooooothing like my own. Though, they have this adorable space called “Grandma’s Kitchen” where they try to make you believe that you can be just as good of a cook as Grandma, complete with red checkered curtains and pictures of you as a baby! Grandma’s kitchen is a place where they test out food prep in a regular ole’ kitchen without all the fancy commercial grade appliances and fancy gadgets. Because at my house, we are innnn business if we can even find a spatula. #smithfieldknows

So what really happens in the Innovation Space? For one, bacon chips. Not bacon bits or bacon-flavored potato chips, but on our visit, they were working on bacon chips. (#countmein) In the Innovation Space, Smithfield’s gurus create and improve Smithfield pork products of all kinds. Maple bacon, jalepeno bacon, salted carmel spiral ham and pecan praline spiral ham, just to name a few! Ahhh…. Christmas is so near! You better buy two – one as a test run (wink, wink) and the other to keep Cousin Eddie occupied with things to talk about besides your love life. Or his. #yack

It’s no wonder that Smithfield is the Number ONE U.S. packaged pork company with $7 billion (#thatsbillionwithaB) in packaged meats business. In Smithfield’s words, they use “Everything But the Squeal.” Just another amazing Virginia agricultural company doing it right!

Thank you for the hospitality, Smithfield!

 

-jen

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