The Philippines is the largest buyer of U.S. dry beans in Southeast Asia and one of the largest markets in the world for Great Northern Beans. This is because Great Northern beans are used to produce canned baked beans and pork and beans in the Philippines, a common breakfast item in hotel buffets.
An important marketing tool for the U.S. Dry Bean Council (USDBC) has been to encourage the use of the U.S. Dry Bean Council logo on products that contain U.S. dry beans, versus those from other origins. The USDBC logo on the packaging serves to highlight the U.S. origin and high quality of the beans to consumers, many of whom value food products from the USA. With this logo on the packaging, the USDBC is also able to provide MAP marketing support for promotional activities of food processors. Over the years, this resulting marketing support, high cost of packaging changes, and consumer preference for American food have helped to ensure loyalty to U.S. dry beans in the face of lower-priced competitors.
Century Pacific Food Inc. (CPFI) acquired the Philippine license of the Hunt’s North American Pork & Bean brand from Universal Robina Corporation in 2017. The transaction allows CPFI to produce, distribute, and sell Hunt’s products in the Philippines. Using ATP funds in 2020, USDBC provided CPFI with marketing support to introduce Hunt’s Baked Beans with the USDBC logo on its labeling. Discussions with the USDBC representative, the use of the logo by its competitors, and the marketing support offered were all keys to CPFI’s decision to launch Hunt’s Baked Beans and Hunt’s Pork & Beans in 2020 – 2021 with the USDBC logo.
Additional cooperative promotion funding under the Market Access Program (MAP) was provided in 2021 to support CPFI with generic promotions, including in-store promotions and social media marketing. An especially creative campaign was CPFI’s use of digital advertising to encourage moms to add pork and beans to their children’s existing breakfast repertoires, providing a serving of vegetables in the morning.
Century Pacific Foods’ labeling decision has guaranteed continuous purchases of U.S. Great Northern Beans, which is proven by CPFI signing a multi-year supply contract with a U.S. exporter in 2020. CPFI imports 900 – 1,000 metric tons per year of GNBs, which is about 80% of the U.S. export volume for this bean type to the Philippines and around 40% to the Southeast Asia region. This equated to an estimated value of purchases of US$ 2,311,350 million for 2020 and 2021, a figure which is anticipated to continue to grow in the future.
Source: USDA, GATS