A Deep Dive into the Business of a Cured Meat Factory in China

30 八月 2022


On August 27th 2022 the workshop “Italian Brands Growing in China: the ISU Case Study” took place both online and offline in Jiaxing.



During the workshop, Helmuth Senfter, President and CTO at ISU, helped the audience to explore many interesting aspects of ISU's business in China.



Below is a summary of the insights he provided: 


Why does an Italian company with a 160-year tradition in the production of cured meats move to China?

I had the chance to see and touch the Italian Salumi maker's success when they entered the US market, starting from 1980 onwards. Italian style Salumi producers in the US do better if compared with their peers in Italy. Italian-style Salumi manufacturers in the US have an excellent track record from various perspectives. China is the second largest economy in the world and will soon have a similar size to the US, if not larger in the future. A similar development path for Italian-style Salumi producers in China, compared to the US, is feasible in my eyes.


How does it manage not to compromise quality?

All aspects related to product quality are managed by me directly, including product formulations and recipes. I am the guarantee for product quality. Critical ingredients we cannot locally source in China, we import from Italy. The quality of local fresh pork meat is comparable to Europe. 


What difficulties did the company encounter? 

The most difficult part was, and still is today, building a proper and suitable corporate culture. 


How does it meet the taste of the Chinese market and how does it deal with the challenge of eco-sustainability?

I consider the Chinese consumer to be a gourmet type of consumer. Since Chinese cuisine is very sophisticated and of a high level in itself, local consumers are well prepared to recognize good quality food products. Traditional Italian Style Salumi got the taste profile directly from the meat, not from the western-style seasoning. Since our meats come from pork, the number one meat in China, pork taste in China is highly acceptable.




ISU Artisan Salumi, crafted in China. Their parent company resides in Italy Alto Adige region; Their production plant operates in Jiaxing city, Zhejiang province, and their brand is ISU – INDEPENDENT SALUMI UNION. The owning shareholder, the Senfter Holding company, has more than 160 years of heritage in making cured traditional Italian Salumi meats. The fifth-generation family member Helmuth Senfter moved to China in 1995 to locally produce contemporary Salumi. He has chosen China as his second homeland, building his new family, his venture, and his dream there. Top-class ingredients and avant-garde facilities are their pride. It is their purpose to be independent and pioneers of uncompromising quality. It is their mission to be artisans and innovators, slow and sustainable. They offer the full range of Italian and European Style Salumi in China, from the round, delicate taste of “COTTI” to the intense, persistent goodness of “CRUDI” because everyone deserves to choose its best every day.



Brand Watch is a format of hybrid seminars (online and offline), jointly organized by the CICC Food and Beverage Working Group (F&BWG) and the Intellectual Property Working Group (IPWG). Its aim is to showcase the best practices of marketing/business strategies of well-known international and local brands in China.

Do you want to be the protagonist of the next Brand Watch?

If you are a company sectoring in the Food and Beverage and you want to be part of the next upcoming seminar, write an email to infoshanghai@cameraitacina.com



The Food and Beverage Working Group (F&BWG) of the China-Italy Chamber of Commerce is working on the development of a WeChat Mini Program dedicated to the companies that are part of the group. The Mini Program is in the final stages of testing and is expected to be launched in September.

The main goal of the WeChat Mini Program platform is to allow the F&BWG Members to virtually showcase their brands and products, offering links to external websites for e-marketing or sale.

To learn more about the Mini Program and find out how to join it, contact us at infoshanghai@cameraitacina.com.



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