December 7, 2009
by Andrew Joseph, Features Editor
If better things in life come in pairs, then the folks at Brandt Meat Packers Ltd. certainly have the formula for doubling up consumer convenience and dining pleasure through cutting-edge packaging down pat.
Since opening its doors back in 1958, the Mississauga, Ont.-based manufacturer of European-style cold-cuts and delicatessen meats—founded by German expat couple Gerhardt and Ida Brandt—has grown to become a well-recognized mainstay in the meat and deli aisles of leading Canadian grocers, with its diverse variety of sausage, salamis and hams renowned for their gourmet-quality flavor and craftsmanship, rooted in old family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
In fact, according to the founding couple’s daughter and company vice-president of sales and marketing Brigitte Brandt-Welzel, many of the products Brandt Meat produces today remain fundamentally unchanged from the original recipes—carrying on a proud tradition that has earned the company a fair share of prestigious gold-medal awards at various international deli meats competitions.
“Because we focus so much on our European roots and heritage in how we make our meats, while also offering such a wide range of specialty products, I would describe Brandt Meats as something of a niche company,” Brandt-Welzel told Canadian Packaging on a recent visit to the company’s state-of-the-art production complex—comprising over 125,000 square feet of production space over two adjoining buildings—where the company’s 175 employees work on a two-shift, five-days-per-week schedule to manufacture over120 different mouth-watering meat products ranging from dry-cured, cooked, smoked and oven-roasted pork and beef to processed chicken, turkey and veal slices and sausage.
Sold at all the major grocery chains across Canada—including Metro, Sobeys, Loblaws, Food-Basics, Walmart, Longo’s and many others—the company has also enjoyed some success in select U.S. markets in recent years, according to Brandt-Welzel, as well as exporting its products to a regular client in Hong Kong, flying out a special shipment there every six to eight weeks.