Ligo celebrates 65 years in the industry. Yes, that iconic brand which can now be called classic or klasik has been a familiar fixture in the groceries here in the Philippines for that long. As a kid, I recall it’s the only brand I know when it comes to canned sardines. Well, it’s been 65 years and at a recent gathering, they presented what can be considered the brand’s readiness to face the next years to come, beyond what they’ve achieved so far.
“We are proud to be part of the household of many Filipino families here and abroad. As we move toward our seventh decade in the industry, we are excited to bring new innovations and products that will be part of the memories of future generations,” shares Ligo Vice President of Production Mikko Tung.
Ligo began in 1954 when Gregory Tung, Sr. opened A. Tung Chingco Trading, the exclusive distributor of Ligo products in the Philippines. The company partnered with Liberty Gold Fruit Co., Inc. in California, but put up its own cannery in 1980 to manufacture its goods and meet growing demand.
It expanded its products, offering mackerel, squid, corned beef, meatloaf, and tuna flakes. It also offered variants on its line of sardines, such as Gata, Spanish, Extra Hot, Kaldereta, and Afritada, and more. It quickly became a global phenomenon, and began exporting to the United States of America, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim.
Ligo is currently run by the third generation of Tungs, who are working together to strengthen its commitment to putting quality first. Mikko Tung is joined by his brothers Mark, who oversees sales and marketing, and Macky, who handles advertising and promotion.
The celebration featured the Klasik Museum, where guests traveled back through time to reminisce the brand’s past, including its variants, old commercials, and print ads. We were also introduced to the brand’s 65th Anniversary visual, which represents its years in providing delicious flavors and excellent quality. Its retro art style is a reminder that indeed, “Walang Kupas ang Klasik.”
Tung also shared the success of the “Lami Ligo” campaign in Mindanao, which featured brand ambassador Tom Rodriguez and a popular local dish, Odong noodles with Ligo sardines. He also announced the success of the newly launched variant of Sriracha sardines, which became an instant favorite among consumers. The evening capped off with the unveiling of Ligo’s new and exciting product variants: Calamansi, and Fried Sardines in Oyster Sauce and in Portuguese Style¬, which will all be available in September; and Tuyo, which will be launched by the end of the year. Another highlight of the evening was the introduction of Carla Abellana as the newest brand ambassador.
It’s great to know that the Ligo brand has set up its arsenal to meet the demands of the market. As time goes by, the Filipino taste is evolving. I have to admit that I haven’t had canned sardines for a very, very, very long time. When I saw the new flavors and other product lines under the Ligo brand, I got more interested. Do you know that they have potato chips snacks and even peanut butter spreads?
The new Ligo Sardines variants also caught my attention, particularly the Fried Sardines in Portuguese Style. It really piqued my curiosity and that is something from someone who haven’t checked out canned sardines for a long time. That means the brand is on the right track considering that the market today is even more competitive compared to several years ago. With Ligo under the reins of its young executives, the definitely can bring the company to the next level and face the challenges in the years to come.