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Johnsonville can’t curd its enthusiasm for new sausage flavours

Poutine-flavoured pork sausage one of six new products arriving in Canadian stores

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Wisconsin-based sausage maker Johnsonville claims only three people in the world know the secret recipe in its sausage products. Based on the company’s new assortment of products, it’s possible one of those people is Canadian.

The distinctly Canadian Poutine Flavoured Smoked Sausage is among six new SKUs being introduced in Canada. It joins four new beef sausage products (Smoked Beef Sausage, Hot Beef Smoked Sausage, Beef and Cheddar Cheese Smoked Sausage and Beef and Cracked Pepper Smoked Sausage) and another pork product, French Toast Flavour Breakfast Sausage.

All of the 375-gram products contain six links, with the exception of the French Toast Flavour Breakfast Sausage, which has 14 links. Johnsonville did not disclose unit prices.

Bob Fitzgerald, director of international business with Johnsonville, said the four beef products are designed to offer Canadians who don’t eat pork more choice in a category traditionally “lacking in options.” “Offering consumers a choice of protein is on trend,” says Fitzgerald.

A September report in The Globe and Mail, citing research by the Conference Board of Canada, said that pork consumption in Canada has fallen by 31% since 1999, nearly double the 19% drop-off for beef.

“The new products are a fitting protein choice for any meal occasion,” says Fitzgerald. “[They] offer delicious and interesting flavour profiles for people who are looking for new ways to freshen up their dishes.”

The new beef flavours, he says, are specifically aimed at consumers who prefer wieners. “These are a step up in flavour profile and especially perfect for people who may not prefer pork,” says Fitzgerald.

The poutine sausage, meanwhile, caters to a distinctly Canadian audience. It features cheese curds, brown gravy and potato flecks.

“It demonstrates Johnsonville’s commitment to keeping their product offering in-line with the most beloved and popular flavours in the marketplace,” said Fitzgerald.

In addition to the poutine sausages, the new products are:

  • Smoked Beef Sausage: A flavour profile comprised of hints of BBQ smoke, cumin and coriander in a pure beef sausage;
  • Beef and Cheddar Cheese Smoked Sausage: Pairs the flavours of real cheddar cheese and quality cuts of beef;
  • Hot Beef Smoked Sausage: Hints of crushed red pepper and vinegar in a bold new beef flavour;
  • Beef and Cracked Pepper Smoked Sausage: Black peppercorns deliver a steakhouse flavour;
  • French Toast Flavour Breakfast Sausage (Pork): Hints of maple, vanilla and powered sugar in a breakfast sausage.

Fitzgerald told Canadian Grocer earlier this year that Johnsonville conducted an in-depth, eight-month study of Canadians’ eating habits that helped inform the new products.

Johnsonville is currently promoting the new products via its social channels, and will sample the products at events across Canada, including the Rugby International Series in mid-June, the National Women’s Show and consumer food events in both Toronto and Montreal.

The brand will also have a presence at several Quebec events including the St-Jean sur Richelieu Hot Air Balloon Festival and Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival in August, and Montreal’s Yul Eat Festival in September. Johnsonville also plans to support the new products via in-store promotions and displays.

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