Ajinomoto to invest in frozen rice

30 Sep 2015

Ajinomoto has announced that it is reinforcing its business infrastructure for frozen rice products to expand its frozen foods business in North America. The company said it will build a new production line for frozen rice products at the Oakland Plant of Ajinomoto Windsor (AWI) to expand production capacity and create an efficient supply system […]

Ajinomoto to invest in frozen rice

3Ajinomoto has announced that it is reinforcing its business infrastructure for frozen rice products to expand its frozen foods business in North America. The company said it will build a new production line for frozen rice products at the Oakland Plant of Ajinomoto Windsor (AWI) to expand production capacity and create an efficient supply system throughout North America. Through this measure, Ajinomoto believes that it will increase sales of its specialty frozen rice products and accelerate the expansion of its frozen foods business in North America. Investment will total approximately $20 million and full-scale operations will begin in September 2016.

According to Ajinomoto, the frozen foods market as a whole in North America is worth approximately $40 billion, with the market for frozen rice products in the Asian/Ethnic food category valued at approximately $120 million, with double digit growth each year. Since beginning frozen foods operations in North America in 2000, Ajinomoto says it has been steadily expanding the business, rolling out high-quality frozen rice products as one of its core lines.

Asian/Ethnic frozen rice products flavoured with chunks of meat and vegetables are popular in North America, Ajinomoto says, and AWI holds the top share of this market at 47%. Its Portland Plant, which has an integrated production line from rice cooking to flavouring and packaging, currently produces frozen rice products supported by the combined production technology of Ajinomoto Frozen Foods and the product development technology of AWI.

Together with the existing Portland Plant in the western United States, the proposed new line will expand production capacity by 1.5 times. Like the Portland Plant, the Oakland Plant is a USDA-inspected meat processing plant that Ajinomoto says can produce high-quality, specialty frozen rice products.

In Ajinomoto’s FY2014-2016 Medium-Term Management Plan, the company notes that North America is positioned as a priority area where it aims to develop product quality and establish a sales network centred on the frozen foods business, developing the Asian/Ethnic food category, establishing the clear number one position, and promoting the penetration of the “Ajinomoto Brand.”