LIGO has marked its 65th year by introducing new innovations and products that will be part of the memories of future generations. At the same time, the canned sardines company bared its new management team who will boost its commitment to put “Quality First.”
A. Tung Chingco Manufacturing Corp. founder Gregory Tung Sr. made Ligo products known in the country. The company’s association with Liberty Gold Fruit Co. Inc. of California, USA flourished and made the brand a market leader in the canned fish industry.
Gregory Tung Jr., A. Tung Chingco chief executive officer and president, strengthened its marketing and manufacturing set-up. His father taught him patience, perseverance, commitment to excellence and more importantly, to be passionate.
“These are the values I want my three sons to realize, hoping that they continue the learning I gained from my father,” said Tung, who recalled the challenges of starting the local production of canned sardines without the comforts of machineries as everything was done manually during his time.
In managing the demands of Filipino customers through the years, “we have enjoyed the loyalty and goodwill of our consumers,” he said.
Tung added the company doesn’t make shortcuts and values the quality of its products. It was in the early ‘80s when the iconic brand boomed and to remain relevant, “one has to be updated as to what is going on in the market and constantly innovate his products,” he advised.
Today, Ligo is run by the third generation of Tungs. Its future lies in the hands of Mikko Tung, vice president of production. He is joined by his brothers Mark, vice president for sales and marketing, and Macky, vice president for advertising and promotion.
The canned sardines brand expanded and revamped the looks of its products. In coming up with new variants, Macky noted that the flavor profile of Filipinos has been constantly changing.
Challenging the norm, the brothers pointed out that sardines doesn’t have to be served in tomato sauce only and introduced bold, new variants such as Calamansi, Portuguese Style, Tuyo Style and Oyster Sauce, among others.
Mikko said the brand always experiments with different flavors, mixing various spices with its products to see what will work.
“Last year, my friends had this crazy idea of mixing the popular sriracha with our classic Ligo, which turned out to be a winning product,” he said, noting this particular flavor is special as this is where the Tung brothers pivoted in terms of branding. To commemorate its 65th year, the canned sardines brand partnered with SYF to create graphic tees. Macky said all proceeds will be given to Bikes for the Philippines Foundation Inc., which distributes second-hand bicycles and provides training to disadvantaged students who encounter difficulties getting to and staying in school.
Mark said the brand has also participated in expos, food trade fairs, fun runs and charity events.
The company likewise highlighted the success of the “Lami Ligo” campaign in Mindanao, featuring brand ambassador and actor Tom Rodriguez and showcasing a popular local dish, Odong noodles, with Ligo sardines.
For its anniversary, the Klasik Museum put on view the brand’s past, which included variants, old commercials and print ads.