A big success that has gone unnoticed

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CELEBRITY endorser Lea Salonga

When it comes to producing quality poultry products, Bounty Agro-Ventures Inc. has few peers. It is acknowledged as one of the best in its industry, not just in the Philippines, but also in Asia, as evidenced by its 2009 Asian Livestock Award for outstanding contribution to the livestock industry.

But the stellar achievements of the 14-year-old homegrown company led by founder and president Tennyson Chen have gone largely unnoticed outside the small circle of dominant food companies who depend heavily on Bounty Fresh’s production to sustain their growing fast food operations.

That’s because its name does not really appear in the consumer arena, such that most Filipinos do not realize that there’s a great chance that the fried chicken they enjoy from quick service restaurants can be traced back to one of Bounty’s 555 broiler contract farms all over the country that last year produced 60 million broilers.

Institutional buyers

It’s the institutional buyers who know Bounty Agro-Ventures intimately, and that is consistent with the company’s initial strategy to target the bulk buyers of chicken, preferring to expand its business in step with their demand.

Bounty Agro-Ventures, however, is starting to make its formidable presence felt in the retail circles as it has realized in time that although it has a good slice of the poultry market in the Philippines, it faces growing competition not just from competitors in the country but also poultry producers in the region and even the world with the coming down of trade barriers.

At first, Bounty introduced to the market its line of dressed whole chicken and chicken parts under the Bounty Fresh brand. It differentiated itself in the market by being the first to vacuum pack its fresh chicken. The special packaging made its fresh chicken more expensive than that of its competitors, but discriminating buyers more than appreciated the quality and freshness that it promised.

According to BAVI Group Marketing Manager Dondi C. Alentajan, Bounty Fresh started with just a 10 percent share in the market in 2002 when it started producing vacuum packed whole chicken and chicken parts.

Market share

But today, it is fast gaining additional market share due in part to marketing campaigns to bring the brand closer to the buyers, such as the launch of the Chic Moms Club (www.chicmomsclub.com), a one-stop online club for busy moms that provides members with tips on how else to prepare chicken for that perfect home cooked meal, health and wellness lessons as well as discounts and chances to join members-only promotions.

“We understand how moms are generally busy and we know that a one-stop venue such as the www.chicmomsclub.com website helps in their time management, while providing entertainment and information as well,” shares Kathlene Gomez, Assistant Brand Manager of Bounty Fresh.

Gomez adds, “through the website, we communicate our latest promos such as our P10 discount on Bounty Fresh chicken bought at Chooks-to-Go outlets, E-recipes from well-known chefs and of course, exclusive invites to Bounty Fresh events.”

Alentajan says that the Chic Moms Club now has over 20,000 members and they have helped spread the word on what Bounty Fresh has to offer the growing market for not just dressed chicken but also other processed chicken products such as hotdogs, cold cuts, nuggets and sausages.

Its latest offering for chick moms is the support of the Rags2Riches line of eco-ethical high-fashion designer bags designed by Amina Aranaz-Alunan. The support to Rags2Riches is also expected to help build recall for Bounty Fresh’s Pollo Primero line of free range chicken.

Bounty Fresh commissioned Aranaz and Rags to Riches to create The Mercato bag and it shouldered part of the expenses to mount the Rags2Riches fashion shows, thus helping raise awareness of the advocacy to help mothers in Payatas earn a better living from recycling disposed cloth.

The bags area available at Aranaz stores for P2,500 each but are available for free for members of the club. They only need to register online, upload a photo and invite their friends to join.

The limited edition handbags were also created as a way for Bounty Fresh to honor mothers who usually head the household and count among Bounty Fresh’s loyal patrons.

According to Alentajan, the two companies came together for the limited edition bag project as they stand for the same thing: style with substance.

And perhaps the most successful branding campaign of Bounty Fresh is the rollout starting 2008 of its fast-growing Chooks to Go line of rotisseries, which churn out freshly roasted whole chicken.

The concept involves set up of stand-alone outlets selling oven roasted marinated chicken variants along with the company’s banner processed meats products, roasted pork belly, dressed chicken and other derivative products. What initially started as the Bounty Fresh Oven Roasted Chicken store evolved to the Chooks-to-Go brand.

Aggressive promotional efforts are poured into the rotisserie outlets starting with strict guidelines in site selections, pre-opening campaigns as well as standardized in-store merchandising. Promotions are conducted periodically on a national or local level depending on the needs of the outlets. New product introductions and above-the-line advertising activities are being developed to further strengthen its leadership position in the take-out food retail market.

There are now close to 1,200 Chooks to Go rotisseries all over the Philippines after just a little over two years of operations and hundreds more are expected to be put in place over the next few years as market acceptance and support of the brand grows further.

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