Spam Museum: A Fascinating Look at the History of Canned Meat

the front of the spam museum

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Are you a fan of the iconic canned meat product, Spam? If so, then you might want to visit the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota. This admission-free museum is dedicated to Spam and its place in world culture. It tells the history of the Hormel Company, the origin of Spam, and how it became a beloved food item for many people around the world.

Spam Museum: A Fascinating Look at the History of Canned Meat

I had a little time between a trip from Mason City Iowa where I was heading to St Cloud Minnesota and managed to divert my car to Austin Minnesota just for the point of stopping here. I had a scant 30 minutes to zip through just shortly after they opened and was delighted at all that it had for visitors.

The Spam Museum features nine galleries with interactive games and photo opportunities that showcase the history and significance of Spam. You can learn about how Spam was created as a wartime food item, how it became a popular household staple, and how it has been incorporated into different cuisines around the world. The museum also features a gift shop where you can purchase Spam merchandise and other souvenirs to remember your visit. If you’re in the area, the Spam Museum is definitely worth a stop!

History of the Spam Museum

spam in 1939


The Spam Museum was founded in January 1991 as the Hormel Foods First Century Museum. Hormel Foods opened a small storefront company museum in celebration of the company’s 100 year anniversary. The museum was located in Austin’s Oak Park Mall. Later, Hormel re-branded it as the Spam Museum. The museum’s original focus was on the history of Hormel Foods and its various products.

Evolution Over the Years

Due to visitor demand, the museum’s focus quickly shifted to Spam. The museum’s popularity grew over the years, and in 2016, the current iteration of the Spam Museum opened in downtown Austin. The new museum is over 14,000 square feet and features interactive exhibits, games, and educational displays.

What is the cost of admission to the museum?

One of the most popular exhibits is the “World Market” section, which showcases the various ways Spam is used in different countries around the world. The museum also features a gift shop where visitors can purchase Spam-themed merchandise, including t-shirts, hats, and even Spam-flavored lip balm.

Over the years, the Spam Museum has become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. It has been featured in various media outlets, including television shows and travel magazines. The museum’s mission is to educate visitors about the history and cultural impact of Spam and to celebrate the food’s unique place in American culinary history.

Exhibits at the Spam Museum

If you’re a fan of SPAM®, you’ll definitely want to visit the SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota. Here are some highlights of what you can expect to see during your visit.

Exhibits at the Spam Museum

Permanent Exhibits

The SPAM Museum has nine permanent exhibits that are designed to educate and entertain visitors. Here are a few examples:

  • SPAM® Brand History – This exhibit takes you through the history of the SPAM® brand, from its creation in 1937 to the present day. You’ll learn about the development of the product, its role in World War II, and its popularity around the world.
  • SPAM® Around the World – This exhibit showcases the many different ways that SPAM® is enjoyed in different parts of the world. From SPAM® musubi in Hawaii to SPAM® fritters in the Caribbean, you’ll see how people have adapted the product to their local cuisines.
  • SPAM® and Pop Culture – This exhibit explores the many ways that SPAM® has been featured in popular culture over the years. From Monty Python’s famous “SPAM” sketch to the SPAM® Museum’s own SPAM®-themed car, you’ll see how the product has made its mark on the world of entertainment.
Exhibits at the Spam Museum

Special Exhibits

In addition to the permanent exhibits, the SPAM Museum also hosts a variety of special exhibits throughout the year. Here are a few examples of past exhibits:

  • SPAM®tastic Art – This exhibit featured artwork created using SPAM® cans and other materials related to the product. Visitors could see everything from sculptures to paintings to jewelry made from SPAM® cans.
  • SPAM® and the Military – This exhibit explored the role that SPAM® has played in military history, from its use as a ration during World War II to its continued popularity among service members today. I actually love their dedication to the Vets – they give all a free can of Spam for visiting and make sure to put a special thank you message on it.
  • SPAM® and Innovation – This exhibit highlighted the many ways that the SPAM® brand has innovated over the years, from new product lines to new packaging designs.
SPAM thank you

Whether you’re a die-hard SPAM® fan or just curious about the product, the SPAM Museum has something for everyone.

Visitor Information

If you are planning to visit the SPAM Museum, here is some important information that you need to know.

Location and Hours

The SPAM Museum is located at 101 3rd Avenue NE, Austin, MN 55912. It is easily accessible by car and there is ample parking available. If you are coming from out of town, there are several hotels and motels in the area where you can stay.

The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Admission Details

Admission to the SPAM Museum is FREE for all visitors. You can spend as much time as you want to explore the museum’s 14,000 square feet of exhibits, which feature 9 SPAMtastic galleries with interactive games and photo opportunities.

have a spamtastic day

In addition to the museum, there is also a gift shop where you can purchase SPAM merchandise and souvenirs. The shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you have any questions about the shop, you can contact them at 507-434-6528. The coolest thing about it? You can get different flavors of Spam that aren’t available at your local grocery store!

Overall, the SPAM Museum is a fun and informative destination that is suitable for visitors of all ages. Whether you are a lifelong fan of SPAM or just curious to learn more about this iconic American food, you are sure to have an enjoyable experience at the museum.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some exhibits at the museum in Austin, Minnesota?

The SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota features 9 galleries with interactive games and photo opportunities. Some of the exhibits include “SPAM and the Military,” “World Market,” and “Hormel Foods Through the Years.” The museum also has a gift shop where visitors can purchase SPAM merchandise.

What is the cost of admission to the museum?

Admission to the SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota is free for all visitors.

spam jam

Can you take a tour of the SPAM factory?

Unfortunately, the SPAM Museum does not offer tours of the SPAM factory. However, visitors can learn about the history and production of SPAM through the exhibits at the museum.

How long does it take to go through the museum?

The suggested duration for a visit to the SPAM Museum is 1-2 hours. However, the amount of time spent at the museum may vary depending on the visitor’s interest and pace.

What is a fun fact about the SPAM Museum in Minnesota?

The SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota is the only museum in the world dedicated to SPAM. The museum opened in 2001 and has since become a popular tourist attraction in the area.

What is a fun fact about the SPAM Museum in Minnesota?

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