Ajinomoto: to Strengthen Frozen Foods Business

Tokyo / JP. (aci) Ajinomoto Company Incorporated is strengthening its operating foundation for frozen noodles to expand its frozen foods business in North America. Ajinomoto Toyo Frozen Noodles Inc. (ATFN), a frozen noodle production company established in April 2015 by the Ajinomoto Group and Toyo Suisan Kaisha Limited, will build a frozen noodle production plant that is scheduled to start operation in July 2016. Ajinomoto Company will accelerate the expansion of its frozen foods business in North America by rolling out frozen noodles with high quality and specialty, centered on Japanese-style ramen, through the sales network of Ajinomoto Windsor Inc.

Windsor Quality Holdings, LP (WF), the No. 1 Asian/Ethnic frozen foods company rolling out its business from consumer business to food service in North America in which the Ajinomoto Group acquired a full equity interest on November 05, 2014, was reorganized on April 01, 2015 into Ajinomoto Windsor Inc. (AWI), a new company that handles the consumer foods business.

The frozen foods market in North America is approximately USD 40 billion (approximately five trillion JPY; Ajinomoto Company estimate for fiscal 2014). The market for frozen noodles in the Asian/Ethnic food category is approximately USD 180 million (approximately 22 billion JPY) and continues to grow by double digits each year. Moreover, demand for Japanese-style ramen is booming in North America, centered on urban areas, with sights such as customers lining up for ramen at USD 15 a bowl.

ATFN will invest approximately USD 25 million (approximately three billion JPY) to build a production plant for frozen noodles. Ajinomoto Company will bring together the high-level noodle manufacturing technology of Toyo Suisan Kaisha Limited, the production technology of Ajinomoto Frozen Foods Company Inc. and the product development technology of AWI to provide the North American market with high-quality frozen noodles with specialty backed by technology. The current line-up of Asian frozen foods centers on products such as gyoza, spring rolls and fried rice. By enhancing the product lineup with the addition of Japanese-style ramen and other new frozen noodles, Ajinomoto Company intends to rapidly expand its entire frozen foods business through the powerful sales network of AWI, which covers all of North America.

In the Ajinomoto Group´s FY 2014 to 2016 Medium-Term Management Plan, North America is positioned as a priority area where it aims to accelerate the expansion of its business scale centered on the frozen foods business. In the massive North American frozen foods market, Ajinomoto Company will open up the frozen noodle market in the Japanese and Asian food category ahead of other companies to establish the clear No. 1 position and promote the penetration of the «Ajinomoto Brand».

Overview of Capital Investment

  • Company name: Ajinomoto Toyo Frozen Noodles Inc.
  • Investment: Approximately USD 25 million (approximately three billion JPY)
  • Production items: Frozen noodles (Japanese-style ramen, yakisoba, et cetera)
  • Production capacity: Approximately 8’600 tons/year
  • Completion: June 2016 (scheduled)
  • Start of production: July 2016 (scheduled)
  • Start of sales: August 2016 (scheduled)

Reference

  • Ajinomoto Toyo Frozen Noodles Inc.
    • Location: Portland, Oregon, United States of America
    • Established: April 22, 2015
    • Representative: Kazuo Takemura, President (scheduled to be appointed in June 2015)
    • Number of employees: Approximately 100 (scheduled)
    • Business description: Manufacture of frozen noodles
    • Capital USD 20 million (Approximately 2.5 billion JPY)
    • Equity ownership: The Ajinomoto Group 80 percent (Ajinomoto Windsor Inc. 40 percent, Ajinomoto Company Inc. 20 percent, Ajinomoto Frozen Foods Company Inc. 20 percent) Toyo Suisan Kaisha Limited 20 percent
  • Ajinomoto Windsor Inc.
    • Location: Ontario, California, United States of America
    • Established: 2000 (date of establishment of the surviving company, Ajinomoto Frozen Foods U.S.A. Inc.)
    • Representative: Haruo Kurata, Chairman
    • Number of employees: Approximately 1’900
    • Business description: Manufacture and sale of seasonings and frozen foods for home use and food service
    • Products handled: Seasonings, frozen foods
    • Equity ownership: Ajinomoto North America Holdings Inc. approximately 98 percent
    • Ajinomoto Frozen Foods Company Inc. approximately two percent
    • Sales regions: United States of America, Canada, Mexico
  • Toyo Suisan Kaisha Limited
    • Location: 13-40, Konan 2-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
    • Established: 1953
    • Representative: Masanari Imamura, President and Representative Director
    • Number of employees: Approximately 4’700 (consolidated)
    • Net sales: 381.3 billion JPY (consolidated, year ended March 31, 2015)
    • Business description: Manufacture and sale of instant noodles, fresh noodles, frozen noodles, processed foods, et cetera, seafood business, cold-storage business

About Ajinomoto Company

Ajinomoto Company is a global manufacturer of high-quality seasonings, processed foods, beverages, amino acids, pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. For many decades Ajinomoto Company has contributed to food culture and human health through wide-ranging application of amino acid technologies. Today, the company is becoming increasingly involved with solutions for improved food resources, human health and global sustainability. Founded in 1909 and now operating in 26 countries and regions, Ajinomoto Company had net sales of 1’006.6 billion JPY (9.17 billion USD) in fiscal 2014.