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March 7th, 2004:

VP poll

Keith Berry surveyed a few bloggers to ask who they thought Kerry’s VP choice would be, and he found the most popular answer was…”Beats me!” I picked John Edwards, mostly because I didn’t feel like coming up with some too-clever-by-half non-conventional wisdom answer, and partly because I think it really will be Edwards. Check it out.

(PS – Note to Tacitus: I think Rep. Harold Ford will be a national candidate some day, but as you can see from his bio, he’s not yet 35 and thus not eligible to be on the ticket.)

Spam fight!

It’s headlines like this that make reading the Sunday paper special: Hawaiian Spam fans tempted by pork rival.

Not since the overthrow of Hawaii’s last queen has a foreigner dared to wage a battle so fierce against an island institution.

Spam has been Hawaii’s undisputed king of canned luncheon meat since the gelatinous pink pork brick was first introduced to the islands during World War II. Now a new Danish copycat called Tulip is trying to unseat Spam.

In Hawaii, Spam is much more than a four-letter word for unwanted e-mail. The product made by Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods Corp. isn’t just another canned meat either. It’s more of a staple food and part of island culture: Hawaii leads the nation in per capita Spam consumption.

After two years of planning and development, Tulip was introduced in Hawaii last August with an aggressive marketing campaign and an ambitious goal of gaining nearly 20 percent of Spam’s enviable market share in two years.

Tulip’s distributor and marketer, Advantage Webco Dodge Hawaii, said sales have been strong. Its marketing goal of selling 1.2 million cans may be met a year earlier than expected, the company said.

“Surprised? Oh yeah, because you just can’t just challenge the big boy and expect to do that well in the first year,” said Percy Higashi, Webco’s vice president.

But Higashi acknowledges putting a major dent in Spam will be a challenge.

“I don’t think anyone has been successful against Hormel in Hawaii,” he said. Tulip, made solely for the Hawaii market, isn’t sold in any other states.

Well, maybe these foreign invaders will take some market share, but will anyone ever compose a haiku to their product?

Pink beefy temptress
I can no longer remain

I think not.