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.
ON THE WINGS OF...
An angel becomes the official image of Morinaga, symbolizing the company’s guiding philosophy:
"Delicious, Fun, and Healthy"
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.
HOPE IN THE DARKNESS
The Great Kanto Earthquake devastates Tokyo, leaving nearly two million people homeless. Our founder leads relief efforts, donating large quantities of candy to families displaced by the disaster.
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.
PASS THE SYRUP
Hotcake Mix packs the taste of American pancakes into one premixed box -- and it's still enjoyed in homes throughout Japan after more than half a century.
CANDY FIT FOR AN EMPEROR
Hi‐Crown chocolate debuts, and becomes a major hit from one end of Japan to the other. This was the start of a long string of hit Morinaga candies -- including you-know-what.
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 170 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!
PAYING IT FORWARD
Our company establishes the Angel Foundation, a research organization that strives to enrich the lives of families everywhere.
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!