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The New York Times reports that Hormel Foods has launched a new ad campaign positioning its Hormel Chili not just as a main dish but also as a condiment that can be used on a variety of other dishes like eggs and hamburgers. The theme: “Goes on everything.”

The goal, according to the NYT, is to help the company maintain its leadership in the category, and counter aggressive marketing by both Bush Brothers and Campbell Soup of their products. Bush Brothers is marketing its product as being close to homemade, and Campbell Soup has linked up with the National Football league for a campaign themed as "hardcore chili for hardcore fans."

The NYT notes that this heightened competition is “emblematic of how formerly somnolent segments of the consumer-product marketplace can suddenly turn into battlegrounds with combat as fierce as in any traditionally crowded field like soft drinks, cereal, pet foods or snacks.”
KC's View:
We’re not sure that the revived popularity of chili is all that surprising. After all, chili is one of the great comfort foods, and we live in a world where we can use all the comfort we can get.

Not sure if everyone is like this, but we have very specific memories about some of the best chili we ever ate – at a takeout place called Original Tommy’s, located on the corner of Rampart and Beverly in Los Angeles. That place served the best double chili cheeseburgers we’ve ever eaten, with chili so thick and spicy that once, when we dripped a little bit on our car, it ate away the paint. Really.