Hi-Chew Launches Marketing Campaign to Support New Distribution Channels

Irvine, California, UNITED STATES

  • TV & Digital Ads and New Website Anchor New Campaign.
  • Walmart, Walgreens Distribution Hits Total of 7,000 Outlets.                                                           
  • Many Major Chains Adding Hi-Chew Products for the First Time.

IRVINE, Calif., July 24, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As sales of Hi-Chew products continue to soar in 2016, Morinaga America has launched a major new marketing campaign.  The effort is already paying dividends, with traffic to the website (hi-chew.com) jumping 400%.

The campaign includes a TV commercial, digital ads in multiple key media, event sponsorships, a sampling program, and a summer sweepstakes.  The campaign is running in several major cities across the U.S., including Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, and is designed to support sales through a wide variety of new and expanded distribution channels.

“Hi-Chew has experienced exceptionally strong sales growth in recent years,” said Norio Otsuki, COO of Morinaga America.  “The new marketing campaign represents a major investment by Morinaga to support our retail business partners in the United States.  Both this campaign and our new factory in North Carolina show that Morinaga has made a permanent commitment to America.  We are in it for the long haul.” 

Some of the important new/expanded distribution channels include:

Walmart:  Hi-Chew now in regular candy set in approx. 3,000 stores.

Walgreens:  Hi-Chew now in regular candy set in approx. 4,000 stores.

Wawa:  Hi-Chew introduced for first time.

Sheetz:  Hi-Chew introduced for first time.

Pilot:  Hi-Chew introduced for first time.

Super Valu:  Hi-Chew introduced for first time.

Albertsons:  Adding new Hi-Chew products.

“The new campaign is driving four times more traffic to our website, and we’re doing our best to push that traffic to stores,” said Jennifer Moling, MA’s Marketing Manager.  “The new site has an improved Product Locator, so customers can find all of our retailers.  The site also includes a new Team Hi-Chew fan club, which offers regular giveaways, in addition to a summer sweepstakes.  Sign-ups have been strong, and the expanded customer email database helps us promote both Hi-Chew and our distribution partners.”

The summer sweepstakes is being conducted in partnership with Time-Warner, as part of a TV campaign in the L.A. region.

Hi-Chew is the best-selling chewy candy in Japan, and is a major seller in the rest of Asia.  In the U.S., sales are exceeding targets at major retail chains, and overall sales have more than quadrupled in recent years.

“Naturally, we’re glad to see that Hi-Chew is proving as popular in America as it has been in Asia.  Young people in particular love it,” said Moling.  “Our original Hi-Chew is in thousands of retail outlets nationwide, and our new Sours and Bites products are selling very strongly in their channels, so we expect to see them gain widespread acceptance in coming months.”

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, and Melon.  Hi-Chew Sours come in Lemon, Lime, and Grapefruit.  And Hi-Chew Bites come in Grape, Strawberry, Mango, and Orange.  Real fruit juice is blended into the chewy candy, which is 100% free of gluten, 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.

Note:  Candy samples and high-res images available on request.