China: world power. Growing environmental threat. Commercial powerhouse. Bratwurst-lover?

Apparently so. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that famed brat-makers Johnsonville have opened a chain of bratwurst restaurants in Shanghai, and are doing a booming business selling the German-style sausages to the Chinese, with a few modifications:

When Johnsonville first took the company’s standard one-pound packages of smoked sausage to Asia, consumers there were amazed at the size of the links and the quantity in the pack.

‘They said, “That’s too much for one person to eat,’’’ [Johnsonville president Bill] Morgan said.

So Johnsonville developed smaller sizes for export. The standard one-pound packages are sold overseas in Costco stores as large family packs, Morgan said.

The exported brats are also less salty. All in all, Johnsonville really seems to be rolling with the times: Its workforce has doubled to 1,400 over the past five years, and while the company still offers an employee discount on brats, “the new office building includes a 24-hour gym, which is open seven days a week and is free for employees.”

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