A TIMELINE OF MORINAGA AND HI-CHEW™
Taichiro Morinaga started the little candy company in Japan that was to become the largest confectioner in Asia.
OUR FOUNDER IS BORN
Taichiro Morinaga, the future father of HI-CHEW™, enters the world on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. It's a tough world for young Taichiro. His father dies when he is 7...and he grows up poor, with no formal education.
TAICHIRO MOVES TO AMERICA
Seeking to find his destiny, the intrepid Morinaga moves to America at age 23. A Good Samaritan offers him a piece of candy – a magical treat that Taichiro had never experienced during his impoverished youth. During his years in the States, he converts to Christianity, and vows to learn the secrets of candymaking.
WEST SWEETS MEET EAST
With hard-won candy-crafting skills, Taichiro returns to his home country and begins selling candy from a simple push cart. The sweets are such a hit that he’s able to open his own store in Tokyo: The Morinaga Western Confectionery Shop.
HITTING THE BIG TIME
After nearly two decades of success, Morinaga & Company is formally established. It is the first modern candy company in Japan, and becomes the first to produce chocolates.
SWEETS FOR THE SWEET
To celebrate motherhood throughout Japan, the first “Morinaga Mother’s Day Meeting” is held. We were the first to advocate this heartfelt tradition in the land of the samurai.
CHEWLETS ARE BORN
Morinaga was always trying to invent new candy treats. In 1956 Morinaga came up with the predecessor of today’s HI-CHEW™, a tasty strawberry-flavored morsel that you could chew like gum. Since it dissolved as you chewed, you didn’t have to take it from your mouth to dispose of it -- which is, let’s face it, a little rude.
CHEWLETS ARE BACK! -- AS HI-CHEW™
New HI-CHEW™ returns and starts becoming the fruity chewy phenomenon it is today. Believe it or not, HI-CHEW™ has been crafted in over 200 different flavors over the years -- and the best ones are now in the U.S. HI-CHEW™ becomes a cultural icon among all Japanese...and insiders all around the globe!
WE'RE 100 YEARS OLD!
We celebrate our 100th anniversary -- a full century of creating tasty treats for the world.
THE SPIRIT OF TAICHIRO RETURNS
In sunny California, we establish Morinaga America, Incorporated -- bringing things full circle from the days when Taichiro received that first piece of candy in America.
HI-CHEW™ ENTERS THE DUGOUT
Junichi Tazawa joins the Boston Red Sox, and is asked to stock the bullpen with gum for his fellow pitchers. He adds his favorite candy -- HI-CHEW™ -- which proves so popular he can't keep up with demand, and asks Morinaga to supply the Sox. Our pleasure!
FACTORY OPENS IN U.S. -- AND HI-CHEW™ IS APPROVED FOR SPACE
We open our first candymaking facility on the ground in North Carolina, and HI-CHEW™ is officially approved as food for astronauts by JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. International Space Station, here we come!
NEW HI-CHEW™ ARRIVES AT NEW STORES!
HI-CHEW™ introduces all-new Sours and Bites, and thousands more stores throughout America rush to get on the HI-CHEW™ train. Welcome aboard!
2017: EXCITING NEW FLAVORS!
HI-CHEW™ introduces new soda flavored Fizzies, Sour sticks, and tropical Kiwi with real chia seeds. Now available at select retailers nationwide and online at Amazon.com.
MORINAGA AMERICA TURNS 10!
It's our birthday! MORINAGA AMERICA, Inc. is officially celebrating 10 years in the US. We celebrated with a consumer vote to bring an exclusive HI-CHEW™ flavor from Japan to the US - the winner was DRAGONFRUIT! Coming to stores in 2019.
HI-CHEW™ ADDS SOME NEW FRUITY SWEETNESS TO ITS PACK!
HI-CHEW™announces the launch of the ALL NEW HI-CHEW™ Açaí flavor, the addition of Pineapple and Kiwi to the HI-CHEW™ Tropical Mix Bag, and the launch of the ALL NEW HI-CHEW™ Plus Fruit Mix Bag with small pieces of real fruit that add even more flavor to each chew.
MORE EXOTIC AND TRADITIONAL FAVORITE FLAVORS MAKE THEIR WAY TO THE U.S.
Dragon Fruit flavor finally makes its highly anticipated debut after winning the East Meets West Flavor Challenge in 2018. By popular demand, another fan-favorite, Watermelon is also added to the U.S. product line-up.
HI-CHEW ANNOUNCES 2020 FANTASY FLAVOR GAMES ALLOWING FOR FANS TO PICK THEIR FAVORITE FLAVOR TO BRING TO THE U.S.
This voting competition allowed for fans to rank 20 exotic HI-CHEW flavors, those of which went head-to-head each week until the winner, Strawberry Lemonade, was finally announced.
HI-CHEW RELEASES BRANDED APPAREL!
HI-CHEW introduces 6 exclusive items through their limited edition capsule collection. Featuring both apparel and accessories, this fun and fashionable line allows for brand fans to represent their favorite candy wherever they go!
HI-CHEW NAMED 2020 GLOBAL NIELSEN BASES DESIGN IMPACT AWARDS WINNER
A tremendous accomplishment for the HI-CHEW brand, the award recognizes impactful package redesigns in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space. HI-CHEW’s the 100g HI-CHEW Original Mix peg bag, recognized for its success in increasing retail dollar sales and units during the year that followed the redesign launch.
THREE LONG-AWAITED FLAVORS AND MIXES MAKE THEIR DEBUT
Plus Fruit makes it’s return in a new mix of flavors alongside Berry Mix featuring Raspberry, Black Cherry, and Blueberry. The winner of our 2020 Fantasy Flavor Games, Strawberry Lemonade, is also added to HI-CHEW’s Fruit Combos Stand Up Pouch.