SPAM, uncanned: Dried, bite-sized version of the portable meat hitting stores

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Is it still SPAM if it's not in a can?

The folks at Hormel assure us it is – and hope we'll take a pouch of it with us when we're on the go.

The Austin-based food company is releasing its newest version of the old canned meat classic, although its home state will have to wait awhile to get a taste of it.

The Los Angeles Times reports selected markets in the West and Southeast along with Hawaii are getting it first, in all three flavors: bacon, teriyaki, and classic SPAM.

Hormel announced months ago that SPAM Snacks were in the works. When Huffington Post got a sneak preview, they declared it "the weirdest snack we've ever seen."

Hormel branching out

As the Star Tribune recently noted, Hormel remains a player in its industry despite a consumer shift away from processed foods.

Hormel says dried meat snacking is a fast-growing category in the industry and thinks its new product will complement that, Meat & Poultry reports.

Hormel has set a 2016 goal of $3 billion in sales from new products – those that have launched since 2000, Meat & Poultry says.

Snacks will be a big part of that. Skippy Peanut Butter and Jennie-O Turkey have introduced P.B Bites and Turkey Breast Sticks, respectively.

Hormel's expansion through acquisitions is also taking it beyond processed foods, though. Its purchase of Applegate Farms, in particular, represents its first foray into natural and organic foods.

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