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Hi-Chew Distributor Gets New President and CEO

Longtime Morinaga leader Teruhiro “Terry” Kawabe promoted to role
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Hi-Chew Distributor Gets New President and CEO
Teruhiro “Terry” Kawabe

Morinaga America, Inc., (MAI) the distributor of Hi-Chew candies in the United States, has named longtime executive Teruhiro “Terry” Kawabe president and CEO. Former CEO Masanori Yasunaga will transition to a role as chairman of the board, where he will oversee MAI and Hi-Chew manufacturer Morinaga American Foods.

Kawabe is a 30-year company veteran who previously helped grow the Hi-Crew brand in the United States as SVP and COO from 2012 through 2016. He also served as president and CEO of Morinaga Asia Pacific in Thailand.

"I'm very excited to be back in the United States again working with MAI on this special brand," said Kawabe. “This will be a huge year of growth for our company as we look forward to introducing new products to our Hi-Chew portfolio, as well as launching additional Morinaga brands into the U.S. market." 

MAI was established in Torrance, Calif., in 2008 and the Morinaga America Foods plant opened in Mebane, N.C., in 2015. Both are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Morinaga & Co., Ltd., which began in 1899 as Japan’s first modern candy maker and producer of chocolates.

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