Japan’s Morinaga & Co has revealed it wants to cut the number of confectionery and snack plants it has in the country – as the company announced plans for a new candy site.

Morinaga plans to spend around JPY10bn (US$12.3m) on a confectionery plant in the central city of Takasaki.

The site will replace Morinaga’s Tsukaguchi plant, a major manufacturing base for the company, which is in Japan’s southern Hyogo Prefecture. 

The new plant, which will occupy 15,000 square-metres, will make sweets and chocolate for Morinaga’s two popular brands Hi-Chew and Carré de Chocolat. It is slated to start operation in July 2013 with an expected annual shipment of product worth JPY10bn.

“The plant is part of our ongoing re-structure program aiming to help us become more flexible to meet the diversified market, as well as improve our production capacity,” said a Tokyo-based spokesman. 

The site is Morinaga’s second new plant in Takasaki. Another, which will make biscuits, is scheduled to get up and running next August.

The two new plants will give Morinaga seven confectionery and snack plants in Japan. “In the future, we want to consolidate them down to three or four,” the spokesman said.