Japanese manufacturing company Morinaga America Food’s new plant in Mebane will soon make millions of pieces of Hi-Chew candy a day. The candy was selected from many Morinaga products for its “possibility for American taste” and because the company has confidence in their special technology that makes a softer, chewier product. The original factory in Tokyo opened in 1899; the company’s long history and skill producing confectioneries like caramels allows it to be a “pioneer …of taste and texture in the United States.” It took a two year nationwide search to choose a site for the plant. Production started in September 2015.
Upon moving to the United Sates from Japan, Morinaga America Foods president Toshiaki Fukunaga (right) immediately “felt the kindness and hospitality of Southern people.” He finds the deep Carolina blue of the summer sky particularly surprising. Keita Morinaga (left) is the secretary/administration manager for the plant. He feels the pick-up truck should be the official vehicle of Orange County. Trucks are rarely for personal use in Japan. Seeing them gives a “feeling of America.”