Frozen food firm GranPac to be bought by Ajinomoto

Kyodo

Ajinomoto U.S.A. Inc., a U.S. unit of Japan’s Ajinomoto Co., said Monday that it has signed an agreement with Showa Sangyo Co. to purchase Showa Sangyo’s frozen food manufacturing subsidiary in the United States for $7.5 million.

The purchase of GranPac Foods Inc., based in the Oregon city of Portland, will be completed June 30 and the new ownership will be a joint venture between Ajinomoto U.S.A. and Ajinomoto, one of Japan’s largest food and beverage companies, Ajinomoto U.S.A. said in a press release.

“We believe acquiring an American manufacturing facility was essential to sustain and accelerate the rapid growth of our retail and food service frozen food products in the United States,” Ajinomoto U.S.A. President Hiroshi Kurihara said.

Ajinomoto U.S.A. has had a joint packing arrangement for frozen foods from GranPac since 1998 for its Don series of microwaveable rice-bowl dishes and in-flight meals for airline caterers.

With the purchase of GranPac, the company aims to accelerate the growth of its American frozen food business, as well as export frozen food products made from cost-competitive, high-quality U.S. foodstuffs to Japan, the company said.

The GranPac plant will be Ajinomoto U.S.A.’s third manufacturing facility in the United States. The first plant, opened in 1981 in the North Carolina city of Raleigh, produces amino acids and is the only pharmaceutical-grade amino acid production site in the U.S.

It also has a monosodium glutamate plant in Iowa., manufacturing monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer.