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Hachikan of Nissui Group Completes \6 Billion Cold Food Plant
Investment of \6 Billion in Annual Output of 23,000 Tons

October 28, 2008

Hachikan, a Nissui group company, completed the construction of its new cold food plant in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture. The project involved some \6 billion, a large scale of investment rarely seen in Japan, with 7,450 sq. m of building area, three stories, and a total of 16, 500 sq. m. Annual manufacturing capability of approx. 23,000 tons and sales of \8 billion are expected at the new plant.

Consolidation of Production and Processing Functionality in Eastern Japan

Harnessing capacities of Hachinohe Harbor, one of the nation’s largest landing ports, and the procurement abilities of raw materials by Hachikan, an investor of the project, the company aims to position the new plant as the key production and processing location of prepared frozen seafood, making it the backbone plant of Nissui’s frozen food business. Hachikan will also build a relation with a Hokkaido’s largest seafood firm, Sasaya Shokai (Kushiro City, ‘07 sales of \14.6 billion), in which Nissui made a 20 percent investment last autumn.

By closing room-temperature business in Hokkaido and integrating processing functionality into the new Hachikan plant, the company aims to increase production efficiency and expand the active utilization of seafood as well as production volume. The plant is also slated to be a production foothold of Nissui’s professional-grade frozen food business development.

The new plant will manufacture such processed products as squid tempura, kakiage, fried wrapped shrimp, and fried squid, and additionally broiled/steamed seafood products, gratin, and croquette. About 120 people will be employed.

The new processing plant will implement cutting-edge functions, technology, and information:

1.Safety and reassurance holds top priority: a) hygienic zoning; b) flow lines without cross-contamination; c) adequate temperature, humidity, and pressure management; d) maintenance of dry floors; and e) introduction of water screen filter system.
2.High productivity: a) layout which reduces transportation distance; b) automated supply of batter and bread crumb; c) installation of labor saving lines and equipment
3.Energy saving and ecology: a) air conditioning ventilation, boiler, and electrical instruments designed based on energy conservation; b) introduction of centralized control system of utilities; c) use of ecological refrigerant (NH3); and d) water-saving equipment.

The original article was published on October 28, 2008 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Cumulative onshore Surimi Output Until September Rises 66% to 31,500 Tons

October 28, 2008

The National Surimi Manufactures Association summarized the September onshore surimi production volume; the cumulative production amount from January thru September totaled 31,489 tons or 166 percent in comparison with the same period of the previous year.

The successful productivity can be derived from favorable Atka mackerel harvest; the accumulated catch of the fish from January to August was 154 percent, totaling 70,296 tons.

Additionally, the frozen surimi stock as of late August goes as follows: Alaska pollack was 35,207 tons, or 93 percent compared with the same time last year; others recoded 139 percent, amounting to 44,306 tons; and a total figure of 79,513 tons was 117 percent in comparison with the previous year.

As for the imported surimi quantity from January to August, pollack surimi ran to 45,208 tons, or 70 percent compared with the same period last year, and threadfin bream surimi totaled 40,422 tons or 103 percent.

The original article was published on October 28, 2008 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

September Supermarket Statistics: Seafood Sales Suffer 5.5% Decline

October 28, 2008

According to the September supermarket statistics summarized by the Japan Chain Stores Association, comparative store sales of 8,680 stores of the 71 member companies fell by 2.2 percent, recording a decline from the last year’s result two months in a row.

Food sales dropped 2.3 percent, a decrease from the previous year, for the first time in nine months from January 2008. In addition to a short weekend, soaring prices and the collapse of major financial organizations spawned consumers’ anxiety over the course of the economy, leading to conservative spending.

Seafood sales dwindled 5.5 percent. Bonito, scallop, and dried fish exhibited strong performances, however tuna, seaweed, salted salmon, and fish roe performed poorly.

Agricultural products also slumped 3.5 percent. Low market prices ended in weak sales of tomato, cucumber, cabbage, spinach, and eggplant sales. As for fruits, news on banana’s health benefits boosted its sales; conversely, melon, apple, tangerine, and pear did not move favorably.

Livestock products exhibited a 2.1 percent rise. Poultry, pork, and minced meat performed strongly, however beef suffered low sales. Deli food showed a 1.5 decrease. Chinese food, dried food, salad, and rice product enjoyed brisk sales, while broiled products, snack, Japanese deli product, and sushi displayed weak sales.

Other food products, including cold food, slumped 2.5 percent. Noodles, rice, instant coffee, confectionary, sake, dairy product, uncooked noodles, and paste products showed strong sales, conversely beverage, ice cream, milk, and pickles suffered slump in sales.

The original article was published on October 28, 2008 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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