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No. 357, June 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS

MEIJI SEIKA KAISHA, LTD. is projecting that its U.S. sales of cookies, crackers, snack foods, including pretzels, and other bakery products will more than double in FY 2001 to $163.9 million. One step toward that goal was the purchase for an undisclosed amount of LAGUNA COOKIE CO. The Tustin, California company, which had sales of $20.5 million last year, makes Meiji Seika a bicoastal producer since it already owns D.F. STAUFFER BISCUIT CO., INC. of York, Pennsylvania. Another part of the Japanese company's game plan is to build a factory adjacent to Laguna Cookie's plant. The new facility will be in business sometime next year. Meiji Seika also will start U.S. production of a three-layer chocolate cookie called Petit Brunch and its chocolate-filled Pucca pretzel snack, first at its Pennsylvania facility and then at the California operation.

Add GREAT PINES WATER CO., INC. to the already long list of bottled water suppliers that the number two in this business, SUNTORY WATER GROUP, INC., owns (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 353, February 1999, p. 7). The acquisition bolsters the Marietta, Georgia company's position in the home and office bottled water market and, at the same time, extends its business to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Great Pines had sales of $9.5 million in 1998, exclusively from home and office delivery. Suntory Water Group now has delivery and retail customers in 38 states.

An exchange rate of ¥122=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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