Hormel Foods Corporation has announced a companywide clean label initiative to simplify the ingredient statements of many of its retail products through the removal or replacement of ingredients, while still delivering great-tasting items that consumers expect.

 “We know that a growing number of consumers are looking for products made with simple, familiar ingredients,” said Scott Aakre, vice president of corporate innovation and new product development at Hormel Foods.

The company’s Valley Fresh products, Hormel Compleats microwaveable meals, Hormel Always Tender meats and two Hormel side dishes have already been simplified. Projects are currently underway to simplify the ingredient statements for Hormel chili, Dinty Moore stew and SPAM products.

In addition, the company’s Hormel Natural Choice meats were developed nine years ago with a simplified ingredient statement in mind. Hormel Natural Choice meats are 100 percent natural with zero preservatives, no artificial colors or MSG, no nitrites or nitrates added, and have no gluten-containing ingredients.

“This initiative is in alignment with our company’s continuous improvement process and better positions our products with current consumer preferences,” said Kevin L. Myers, senior vice president of R&D at Hormel Foods.

Valley Fresh 100% natural chicken, for example, contains only chicken breast meat with rib meat, chicken broth, sea salt and rosemary extract.

“Now consumers can feel even better about the products they know and love,” Myers said.

In addition to the company’s retail products clean label efforts, the company’s foodservice division is focusing on clean labels as well. Knowing that foodservice operators and their patrons desire their ingredients and menu items to reflect what they find in their own pantries, all Hormel Foods Foodservice innovation efforts will continue to be chef-inspired with easily recognized ingredients, smart sodium levels and on-trend preparation methods. Innovation product successes include Hormel Fire Braised meats, Hormel Natural Choice meats, and recently introduced Hormel FUSE burgers. Each of these items are 100 percent all natural with zero preservatives, no artificial colors, no nitrites or nitrates added, and have no gluten-containing ingredients.

The Hormel Foods clean label initiative builds upon the company’s sodium reduction efforts that have been in place for several years. The company aims to reduce sodium levels in select products within its branded retail portfolio by an average of 15 percent.

Additional information about the company’s clean label initiative and sodium reduction efforts will be included in the 2015 Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility report, which will launch in June 2016.