In its second expansion in a year (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 343, April 1998, p. 4), snack and cracker manufacturer SESMARK FOODS, INC. will add a fourth production line at its Loves Park, Illinois factory to expand production of its mainstay Usuyaki (thin) rice crackers. The new capacity, which will come onstream this summer, will add 10 percent to output and allow the company to start exports of its Rice Thins to Europe and Australia. With these and other moves, Sesmark Foods believes that sales will rise 12 percent in 1999 to $28 million. MITSUBISHI CORP. and KAMEDA SEIKA K.K. are the company's majority owners.
The third-largest Pepsi-Cola bottler in the United States will be formed through the pending merger of the franchise operations of PEPCOM INDUSTRIES, INC. in New York and North Carolina with two PEPSICO, INC. plants in North Carolina. Raleigh, North Carolina-headquartered PepCom is a wholly owned subsidiary of SUNTORY LTD. It acquired the bottling plants in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island and in central and eastern North Carolina that will be part of the new company in 1980. The two plants that PepsiCo is contributing to the venture are located in Winston- Salem and Wilmington, North Carolina. PepCom will be the majority owner of the unnamed joint venture, which will account for nearly 3 percent of PepsiCo's U.S. beverage volume. Suntory is the master bottling franchisee for Pepsi-Cola in Japan.
An exchange rate of ¥120=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa