Spam--The Meat---Makes Big Comeback

Love it, hate it or laugh at it -- at least it's inexpensive.

Sales of Spam -- that much maligned meat -- are rising as consumers turning more to lunch meats and other lower-cost foods to extend their already stretched food budgets.

What was once cheeky and silly is now back on the table as people turn to the once-snubbed meat as costs rise.

Food prices are increasing faster than they've risen since 1990, at 4 percent in the U.S. last year, according to the Agriculture Department.

Spam's maker -- Minnesota-based Hormel -- saw its profits rise 14 percent in the most recent quarter. The company says it's getting many new Spam customers.

Other companies are seeing similar boosts. Kraft Foods Inc.'s subsidiary Oscar Mayer in Madison, Wisconsin, which makes hot dogs, bacon and cold cuts, saw double-digit revenue growth in the latest quarter in its Deli Fresh cold cuts.