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"Two out of every three hot dogs eaten in Manhattan have passed through Viscofan".

The CEO of the multinational company from Navarra gave the last session of the North America Summit at the University of Navarra.

FotoManuelCastells/José Antonio Canales, CEO of Viscofan, during his speech at the University of Navarra.

27 | 03 | 2023

"Two out of every three hot dogs eaten in Manhattan have passed through Viscofan". This was stated by the CEO of the Navarre-based multinational, José Antonio Canales, who participated in the last session of the North America Summit, the lecture series organized by the School Law School of the University of Navarra.


José Antonio Canales explained to the students the implementation of Viscofan in North America and the obstacles and difficulties that have been overcome by business , which today employs 5,300 people worldwide, is present in 22 countries and has a global market share of 22%. "We are small, but very international," he said.


Viscofan is dedicated to the manufacture and marketing of casings for the food industry, with a unique technological process that starts with the purchase of cellulose and cow hides to produce cellulosic or collagen casings, respectively. In addition to this traditional line, Canales highlighted the new businesses that include the Nutri-farma area, where they are working on projects at research with the Cima of the University of Navarra, aimed at development of collagen hydrolysates, which are used to strengthen joints, tendons, hernias; or the new global trends in food with the production of vegetable casings, among others.  


In his speech, Canales gave a historical overview of Viscofan's presence in North America since 1996, when they began selling their products in the USA. Today they have plants in Illinois, Alabama and New Jersey; two plants in Mexico; another plant in Canada and a sales office in Costa Rica.

In total, they employ 1,300 people in North America and have a turnover of 370 million euros (31% of sales). According to Canales, Viscofan's commitment is to continue growing in the area: a region with great advantages (market share, high level of consumption, etc.) but also with obstacles, such as the difficulty to hire staff that remains in the business, the geographical detachment, the mercantilist vision of work or the high level of litigation. "Producing in North America is very complicated, and after the pandemic, even more so. There are many problems, but if you want to sell in North America you have to be a local producer," he concluded.            

"In 2022, Viscofan has invested 120 million euros and almost half of it has been in the USA, because it is still a market of reference letter. We have to win over more customers and develop more sophisticated products," he said. Canales described the four pillars on which the international strategy of business is based: service, costs, investment in technology and sustainability. "Leading in these four pillars is what allows us to continue to grow in turnover and dividends".