Morinaga’s Kawabe Promoted To Chief Representative, President/CEO For U.S.


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Irvine, CA — Teruhiro Kawabe has been promoted from president and CEO of Morinaga America, Inc. to chief representative for the USA and President/CEO effective immediately. In his new role, Kawabe will oversee and supervise Morinaga America Foods, Inc., the company’s production facility in North Carolina, and Morinaga America, Inc, the U.S. corporate division of the company. With its current goal of strategically expanding the U.S. business, Kawabe is being tasked with optimizing business management for both companies and driving the strategic expansion of the U.S. market.

Kawabe has worked with Morinaga Group for more than 30 years, previously serving as president and CEO of Morinaga Asia Pacific, in Bangkok, Thailand, before taking on his most recent role in the U.S. The company reports that sales of Hi-Chew in the U.S. have grown from $8 million in 2012 to more than $100 million in 2021.

“I’m delighted to continue leading MAI on its path towards sustainable growth and to continue expanding the brand’s footprint across the U.S. markets,” says Kawabe. “I’m looking forward to bringing MAI’s vision of solidifying a presence in the wellness space to life, while continuing to deliver delicious, fun, and better-for-you foods to the U.S. consumers.”

The company reports that it plans to continue accelerating the business growth through new flavor innovation and distribution expansion. The brand’s goal is to achieve $2.5 million in sales by 2030. The company plans to accelerate the process for new product development through a newly established U.S. research and development lab.