Spam was invented in 1937 in the small town of Austin, in the US state of Minnesota, but it wasn’t until World War II that sales boomed and it became a worldwide hit. Photo: Alamy

The Spam story: how the luncheon meat became a hit in Asia and beyond with its ‘taste of America’

  • Loved from South Korea to The Philippines to Hawaii, Spam is eaten in 44 countries with 12.8 cans consumed every second, according to the company
  • Fried, baked, boiled or braised, the pork-based luncheon meat was first a hit in the US during the Great Depression and then in Asia after World War II
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Spam was invented in 1937 in the small town of Austin, in the US state of Minnesota, but it wasn’t until World War II that sales boomed and it became a worldwide hit. Photo: Alamy
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Bernice Chan

Bernice Chan

Bernice Chan is a senior writer on the Culture desk. She samples more than her share of dishes around Hong Kong and writes about people and issues that make an impact on the city.

Alkira Reinfrank

Alkira Reinfrank

Alkira is a digital production editor and reporter with the South China Morning Post, where she also co-hosts the award-winning podcast Eat Drink Asia. Before moving to Hong Kong, Alkira worked as a multiplatform reporter with ABC News and WIN News in Australia. Alkira has appeared on BBC World News, BBC World Service, The Project (Australia), i24 News (Israel) and triple J Hack (Australia).