Orange County Economic Development

Name of Business:  Morinaga America Foods, Inc.

When was your company established?  Morinaga America Foods, Inc. began in 2013 and parent owner Morinaga & Co., Ltd. was established in Tokyo, Japan in 1899.

What is the origin of your company name?  Named after the founder’s last name.

Who owns your company?  Morinaga & Co., Ltd. (in Tokyo, Japan)
What is the main business focus of your Orange County office?  The fruit chewable candy “Hi-Chew” has been well-established in the west coast since its introduction to the U.S. m

arket.  So the company now based in Orange County, NC would be the gateway to build and to expand the brand awareness in the east coast.

What sets you apart from your competitors?  Among the Japanese-base confectionary/snack companies, only a few companies such as Calbee and Morinaga have locally manufactured products that are “Made in U.S.A.”. 

What are your next goals for your business (any exciting expansion plans or new product/services)?  In the short term, the company will keep producing our “Made in U.S.A.” Hi-Chew candy to distribute in the U.S. market, and we hope to see the ratio increase for “Made in U.S.A.” Hi-Chew. That will depend on the success of our U.S. sales company Morinaga America, Inc., (and our sister company) based in Irvine, CA – another Orange County!) is able to reduce the level of imported “Hi-Chew” from Asia and increase our “Made in U.S.A” market share in the U.S.

What do you enjoy most about doing business in Orange County?  Huge support the company has from the State of North Carolina, Orange County and City of Mebane governments, the wonderful people and weather (e.g., beautiful four seasons).

Where do you see your business in five to 10 years?  When people talk about Orange County, NC in the future, our company wants them to associate the presence of Morinaga America Foods with Orange County.  For example, “I have been to Orange County, NC – that’s where Morinaga is located and makes “Hi-Chew.”  “Orange County, NC is the home of “Hi-Chew.”  Hopefully in 10 years or so, the company will be able to expand.

Contact Information:
Contact:               Kyoichi Okamoto (or Hisayo Tago)
Address:              4391 Wilson Road, Mebane, NC  27302
Telephone:          919-643-2439 (main)
Website:              n/a