Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

The brand that’s been part of every Filipino’s table… How did this company stay at the top of its industry? [Monday Marketing Marvels]

July 20, 2020

What brands come to mind when you think of Philippine canned goods?

Century Tuna, Argentina, 555 Sardines, Blue Bay Tuna, Angel, Birch Tree, WOW!, Swift…

These brands have been sought after by many Filipinos since 1978—dominating the grocery aisles and tables of Filipino families with a 93% market share and revenue of PHP 40.6 billion in 2019.

The company behind this success?

A small facility in Taguig, Manila that turned into the largest canned food company in the Philippines…

Century Pacific Food, Inc. (CNPF) was founded by Ricardo S. Po, a former journalist for a Chinese paper in Binondo. He was inspired by Japanese technicians to start the business after they told him about the Philippines’ abundance in tuna and its large demand abroad.

In 1978, Po set up a tuna canning facility. He got the tuna supply from Mindanao and established a factory in Taguig City that only exports to Germany and the United States.

Eventually, the company looked for opportunities in the local market and launched 555 canned sardines in 1983.

Due to 555 Sardines’ success in the local market, the company launched its flagship canned tuna brand—Century Tuna.

Po used his marketing skills and got Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz to endorse Century Tuna as something delicious, nutritious, and healthy.

This marketing move marked the beginning of the company’s branding efforts. It’s also how it achieved its brand positioning today.

Not only that…

The company’s products are available in 904,000 outlets in the Philippines.

26.18 million cases of products were sold across the Philippines. That’s equivalent to approximately 11 pieces of CNPF products on average consumed by each Filipino annually.

Globally, 768,000 cases products were sold in 62 other countries in 2018.

CNPF’s Main Business and Marketing Strategies:

  • 1. Market Leadership
  • – Dominating the canned fish and canned meat categories locally and also with a big presence in the milk category

  • Source: Business World
  • 2. Multiple Brands and Products

    – Diverse product line to cater to the target market’s broad range of needs and tastes

  • 3. Strong Focus on High-quality Manufacturing, R&D-driven Innovation, and Marketing

    – Consistently producing safe and quality products by complying with strict guidelines (Products are accredited by different organizations like the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.)

    – Continuing to innovate and explore new product developments

    – Enhancing brand recognition through active and targeted marketing campaigns using traditional media such as billboards, newspapers, radio, and television and digital marketing (getting celebrity endorsers for intuitive marketing campaigns)

  • 4. Extensive Market Penetration and Distribution

    – Domestic distribution network to reach supermarkets, wet markets, and even sari-sari stores (neighborhood variety stores)

  • Source: Business Mirror
  • 5. Trusted Partners for International Customers

    – Working closely with long-standing international partners to produce private label and branded products for sale in overseas markets

It’s through these strategies that Century Pacific Food, Inc. maintains its market leadership locally and continues to expand internationally.

It received multiple awards in more than four decades in the industry.

  • Outstanding Achievement in Export Marketing, 2018
  • 1000 High-Growth Companies Asia Pacific, 2018
  • Best in Sector Consumer Staples Finalist, 2018
  • Asia’s Marketing Company of the Year, 2016
  • Gregory Banzon Marketing Excellence, 2014
  • Marketing Company of the Year, 2011

For the past years, Century Pacific Food, Inc. continues to innovate new products and improve their business systems.

The company has recorded a revenue of:

  • PHP 23.3 billion in 2015
  • PHP 26.8 billion in 2016
  • PHP 32.9 billion in 2017
  • PHP 37.9 billion in 2018
  • PHP 40.6 billion in 2019

Today, Century Pacific Food, Inc. continues to bring high-quality, healthy, convenient, and affordable products to every table.

Century Pacific Food, Inc.’s Earning Power: Valens Research vs. As-reported numbers

Century Pacific Food, Inc. makes for a great case study that we come back to regularly. One great reason?

The company has proven itself to be a phenomenal earning power generator.

So, how well has Century Pacific Food, Inc. been growing its business in the past years?

The research doesn’t lie—nor do the results. Earning power (the blue bars) continues to show results much higher than what traditional databases show.

The blue bars in the chart above represent Century Pacific Food, Inc. earning power (Uniform Return On Assets). These numbers have been positive, going over 13% six times for the past 6 years.

The global ROA average is just 6%.

The orange bars are the company’s as-reported financial information. If you relied on these numbers, you won’t see the 14% Uniform ROA (return on assets, a measure of earning power) for 2019. You’d just see the company report less than that, at 8% as-reported ROA.

That’s what you’ll see in Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, and most other databases.

The company’s stock price also performed better than the rest of the stock market over the decade, which we can see in the blue line in the chart below. Their returns have been well above the market.

The numbers show that they have been doing well and making a profit.

Century Pacific Food, Inc. provides its customers with quality canned food for everyone, every day, and everywhere.

It’s undeniable why the company is now hailed as the largest canned food company in the Philippines!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”

Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some company’s marketing strategy.

…Only for the audience to later find out that their product was a flop, or worse, that the company went bankrupt.

The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.

What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?

At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the role of marketing is always paramount to that success.

Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies.

However, the difference between our case studies and the numerous ones out there, is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group).

By looking at the true earnings of a company, we can now rely on those successful businesses to get tips and insights on what they did right.

We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve on. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.

Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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