MANILA - One of the largest sausage manufacturers in the US has joined forces with a local food processing giant to make its line of "super premium" hotdogs and other products more affordable for the Philippine market.
Johnsonville, which used to import its line of hotdogs and other processed meat from the US, recently got the green light from competition regulators for a joint venture with local firm Frabelle, which is behind the mass market Yummy and Bossing line of sausages.
Michael Stayer-Suprick, president of Johnsonville and third generation of the family-owned business based in Johnsonville, Wisconsin, said they chose Frabelle, because of its respect for people and the market it serves.
Suprick is also bullish about entering the Philippine market, which he said is "one of the largest consumers of hotdogs per capita in the world."
"Filipinos love hotdogs. And the amount of opportunity that we have here to create new and exciting products is, I think, off the charts," Suprick said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.
Suprick said that while operating as an importer for 10 years, Johnsonville struggled to bring its products to a wider market because the 40 percent tariff on its sausages put them on the "super premium" category.
But by taking advantage of Frabelle's local supply chains, manufacturing, distribution and marketing facilities, Johnsonville hopes to reach more consumers.
Frabelle, on the other hand, would continue to serve the mass market with its Bossing, Yummy brands among others.
Suprick said he sees the Philippines as a platform for Southeast Asia, adding there may be plans to export finished products to the sub-region once they have the Philippine market sorted.
But he also said the company still needs to further study the regulations of other countries if this was feasible.
"As we all know, government regulations ebb and flow. It makes moving protein products across borders very very difficult," he said.
On the China-US trade row, Suprick said they are not impacted, as they source all their raw material from China for the Chinese market, and all processed meats produced there are meant for local consumption.
This means Johnsonville products in China will not be hit by tariffs.