(Irvine, California) December 7, 2015— Japan’s best-selling chewy candy has won an American award for fast-growing sales. At its annual trade show, major convenience store distributor Harold Levinson Associates (HLA) honored HI-CHEW and Irvine-based sales company Morinaga America as “Confectionery Vendor of the Year 2015.”
“We are pleased to be recognized for the proven sales performance of HI-CHEW in recent years,” said Terry Kawabe, Director COO, Senior VP of Morinaga America. “When consumers have a chance to sample HI-CHEW, they get hooked. That’s why we’re #1 in Japan, and HLA has helped us get on the same path to success in the U.S.”
Since 1977, Harold Levinson Associates (HLA) has grown from the trunk of a car into one of the nation’s largest full line convenience store distributors. Based in Farmingdale, NY, HLA has 420 employees in a 600,000-sq. ft. facility stocking over 18,000 products.
About Morinaga & Hi-Chew:
The history of Hi-Chew stretches back over a century, when company founder Taichiro Morinaga brought candy-making skills to Japan from America in the 1800s. Hi-Chew has long been the #1 soft candy in Japan, and in recent years, has also become a hit in the rest of Asia and America, especially among the young. In the U.S., original Hi-Chew is offered in Strawberry, Green Apple, Mango, Grape, Cherry, Banana, Melon, and Kiwi. The Hi-Chew Sours come in Lemon, Lime and Grapefruit. Hi-Chew Bites are offered in Grape, Strawberry, Mango, and Orange and are made with real fruit juice blended into the chewy candy, which is 100% free cholesterol or artificial colors.
Morinaga America, Inc. (sales company) and Morinaga America Foods, Inc. (candy production) are wholly owned subsidiaries of Morinaga & Co., Ltd., which began in 1899 as the first maker of chocolates in Japan.