US food giant HJ Heinz Co has established a joint venture company with established domestic condiment producer NutriAsia. The company, to be called Heinz-UFC Philippines, will launch its flagship product, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, on the Philippine market.

In a statement, the company revealed that the move is part of a globalisation strategy, and the distribution of the ketchup product is seen as key to Heinz' expansion into the Philippines. Heinz is the world's largest producer of processed tomato products, with 22 brands recording sales of over US$100m worldwide every year.

In the Philippines, ketchup is the third favourite condiment of consumers, after soy sauce and vinegar, and Heinz is hoping to create a large market share for itself. In the US, it controls 50% of the ketchup market.   

Heinz chairman Bill Johnson commented: "Heinz Ketchup sits proudly atop restaurant tables everywhere in the world. Heinz' flagship ketchup, condiments and sauces business has been growing about 7% a year."