Morinaga is building new manufacturing lines at its third Takasaki factory to increase the production of popular items, such as its best-selling ice cream Choco Monaka Jumbo.
According to its latest annual financial report, frozen desserts were forced to be suspended as it could not keep up with the overwhelming demand during the hot summer last year.
Overall in Japan, findings from Yano Research Institute also highlighted that ice cream is the number one dessert choice amongst Japanese with nearly eight in ten of the Japanese consumers surveyed said they ‘love’ or ‘like’ ice cream.
As for chocolate, a spokesman from the firm said that sales had grown by 110% between 2015 and 2017. According to the firm, the third Takasaki factory, where the additional manufacturing lines would be located, spans across an area of 35,450 sq.
At present, the factory itself is still under construction and is expected to complete in April next year. It was previously meant to produce only the DARS chocolate range, but the firm then decided to add more production lines to manufacture Choco Monaka Jumbo and Ita Choco Ice as well.
As such, the firm had further poured JPY$8.6bn (US$78.5m) to meet the additional production needs. Production of DARS chocolate is expected to start September next year and the other two products in April 2021.
The move to focus on popular products is in line with the company’s medium-term management plan. The firm hopes to strengthen popular confectionery and frozen dessert brands in hopes of achieving a more stable revenue base.
“We studied and researched consumer insights, we developed products which are well-liked by many consumers in Japan. Narrowing down the number of items to focus on, helps increase efficiency, productivity and sales,” the spokesman added.