From a small general merchandise store selling agricultural products in Binondo to a corporation with various trusted brands under its belt, Fly Ace Corporation, has come a long way as a homegrown company.
The company’s history dates back to 1972. The company—known then as Jolly General Merchandise—was run by its founding couple Ederlina Lim-Cochangco and Lucio Cochangco. Their small office only had two employees.
The business grew as a trading enterprise under the leadership of the couple’s children. In 1986, and as it continued to expand, it was incorporated as Fly Ace Corporation. Fast forward to 1997, the company ventured into its first brand, Jolly, which for two decades, has become a popular brand of canned vegetables and fruits for both professional and household cooks.
Fly Ace President Lucio “Jun” Cochangco Jr. said in an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Jolly brand, “When we launched our homegrown brand way back in 1997 we only have one goal–to offer a quality product at a reasonable price,[and to] make it available in all the retail and food service channels.”
“We did not know that 20 years later, Jolly will be top of mind brand with the widest offering in the canned vegetable and fruit categories,” Cochangco continued.
The celebration highlighted how the Jolly products have been embraced by Filipino households as a top-of-mind brand, especially its canned mushroom products.
Abbie Ng-Reyes, Fly Ace Assistant Vice President for Marketing shared, “What makes it stand out is that for every Jolly product introduced in the market, we make sure that it is consistent, of high quality, but sold at a very affordable price that is reachable by Filipino consumers.”
Besides its mushroom line, Jolly also offers canned fruits and produce that has definitely opened a lot of culinary possibilities for Filipino home cooks. On supermarket shelves are the Jolly brand’s well-priced corn, green peas, chick peas, red pimiento, salted black beans, pineapple, peaches, and lychees, just to name a few.
“To bring the best of the world to the Filipino household,” is a dictum that the Cochangco siblings have kept to heart as they continue to introduce new products to the market.
“None of these successes would happen without the vision and guidance of our parents. Our parents taught us the values of integrity, discipline, and to have an entrepreneurial spirit in doing our business. This is the backbone of how we manage our brands in Fly Ace Corporation,” Cochangco said.
Part of the celebration also included introducing Jolly’s newest celebrity brand ambassador, Maine Mendoza.
According to Ng-Reyes, Mendoza was chosen as the new endorser because of her “jolly” nature as well as her knowledge in the kitchen as a graduate of hotel and restaurant management course.
Mendoza shared that Jolly mushrooms is her personal favorite, and that she often cooks using the brand.
“Favorite ko talaga ang mushrooms; I eat mushrooms for merienda. I eat it lalo na kapag wala na akong work tapos gutom, I eat Jolly mushrooms,” Mendoza said, and added that she encourages young cooks to choose the right ingredients.
Moving forward, consumers can look forward to new offerings of the Jolly brand.
“That’s all in the pipeline. We want to make sure that we continue to innovate, but at the same time, provide new options that have better value. In the coming quarter, we are coming out with pouches; our products will be in pouches. Our goal is really to make it accessible and affordable to a wider set of [consumers],” Ng-Reyes told reporters.
On the other hand, Cochangco shared the company’s vision from hereon and said, “The year 2017 will signal the beginning of Jolly and Fly Ace’s new and grander plans beyond the 20 years. For Jolly, we will continue to be the leader in providing innovative products and be committed in developing cost efficient, healthy, and easy to prepare dishes in every Filipino family household cooking.
“For the trade partners, Jolly will continue to lead the growth in the canned veg/canned food category. Jolly will continue to grow bigger, better as we propel for the next 20 years and beyond.”