Hormel Doles Out $21.2M in Employee Bonuses

The bulk of that sum was distributed through a profit-sharing program that's been in place since 1938.

Hormel Foods Corporation has distributed $21.2 million in employee bonuses over the past few weeks-including a record $16.3 million through its annual profit-sharing program.

The Austin-based company has distributed profit-sharing checks every year since 1938, and a spokesman said Wednesday that it has become a “Thanksgiving Eve Day tradition.” The payout is at the discretion of Hormel's board. This year, all workers who were employed during the entire last fiscal year received checks amounting to about 2.2 weeks of their regular pay.

“We have a longstanding heritage of recognizing employees for their contribution to the company's success,” Chairman, President, and CEO Jeffrey M. Ettinger said in a statement. “Our team members are to be commended for their efforts to deliver great-tasting products to our consumers, which resulted in ending the year with an all-time record for net sales greater than $7 billion.”

The company couldn't immediately say exactly how many employees were eligible to take part in the profit-sharing program, but the vast majority of them benefited from the payout. Approximately 1,500 of the 1,700 workers at the Austin plant, for example, received checks.

This week, Hormel's 19,500 employees collectively received another $4.9 million in the form of $250 checks consisting of a “one-time discretionary monetary award,” Ettinger said. That bonus “recognizes our employees for their hard work during the past couple of years to help us generate excellent performance despite facing economic hard times.”

Hormel is among Minnesota's 15-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $7.22 billion during the fiscal year that ended October 31. It has 42 manufacturing locations.