When Kibun Foods Inc. entered the U.S. market in 1978, the Japanese company chose Seattle for its base because the city is renowned as the epicenter for Alaska pollock, the biggest ingredient used in its food products.
Nearly 40 years later, Kibun Foods (U.S.A.), Inc. has proven to be a valuable asset to the parent company through its three key departments: Traditional Products Imports, Ingredient Exports, and Agriculture Exports.
“As the only subsidiary outside Asia, our operations are very important to the group. We have a subsidiary in Thailand, which focuses mainly on manufacturing, while we focus on sales and marketing to the Americas,” Kibun Foods USA President Kentaro Aoki said.
With imports being a core focus of its business, Kibun USA added new items on a sales channel separate from its traditional Asian market distribution. Through retail giant Costco, the company launched Healthy Noodle, a sugar-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and dairy free alternative to traditional pasta.
“This is a game changer for us,” Aoki stressed.
This year, sales of Healthy Noodle are expected to be seven times higher than its sales in 2016.
“With the success of this product, we plan to introduce an Asian version of Healthy Noodle for distribution to Kibun’s Traditional sales and marketing networks in the U.S. this fall,” Aoki said.