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 Johnsonville goes International

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  • Total Posts: 2368
  • Joined: 12/1/2006
  • Location: Pewaukee, WI & Fuquay-Varina, NC
Johnsonville goes International Sat, 08/2/08 9:18 AM (permalink)

It was not so long ago, about 25 years, when I couldn't find Wisconsin-style bratwurst in neighboring Michigan. Today they are available as far away as Japan and Korea.
Wisconsinites tend to think we're the official keepers of the bratwurst, but we're not the only ones anymore. Sausage has gone global.

"We think of it as exporting a little bit of Wisconsin culture overseas," says Bob Morgan, president of Johnsonville Sausage in tiny Sheboygan Falls, Wis. (Population: About 7,600.) "We believe the product we're offering is better than anything in those markets. It's American, it's new, it's different. But we know once they try it they're going to love it."

Recently, Johnsonville's overseas business has been positively sizzling.

In the last four years, its export business skyrocketed by 67 percent and is expected to make the company $40 million this year, which accounts for about 7 percent of its overall sales. Since starting with Canada about 15 years ago, it has expanded shipping to 30 countries.

It is good to see some parts of the U.S. economy are going strong. I have to think that there's a market for a good Chicago Style Dog in Tokyo, too.
That's not to say people all over the world are grilling out with Miller High Life in the backyard. Johnsonville -- which still uses its name and logo on all its exports -- has had to modify its products to match different cultural tastes and customs. It has had to tweak its recipe in different countries to account for expectations of salt, seasoning or even size. Take Japan, for instance.

"They thought our sausage sizes were very large," Morgan laughs.

That's something we already knew.

    • Total Posts: 6080
    • Joined: 8/16/2007
    • Location: brick, NJ
    RE: Johnsonville goes International Sat, 08/2/08 9:25 AM (permalink)
    I wonder how it goes over in Germany? That would be a test!!!

      • Total Posts: 3218
      • Joined: 9/10/2003
      • Location: Hot Dog University Chicago, IL
      RE: Johnsonville goes International Mon, 08/4/08 1:40 AM (permalink)

      Chicago style dogs in 1996.

      CSD PhD Professor of Hot Dogs
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