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April 5, 2022

Japan’s Maruha Nichiro invests in US frozen-food firm Happi Foodi

Happi Foodi started out as Waffle Waffle before rebranding in 2018.

By Simon Harvey

Japan’s Maruha Nichiro, one of the world’s largest seafood processors, has invested in US frozen-food business Happi Foodi.

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The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
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Tokyo-based Maruha Nichiro, which also has operations in meat, including in the US, did not disclose the size of the investment in Happi Foodi.

Originally set up in 2009 as Waffle Waffle making Belgian waffles, the company rebranded in 2018 as the Happi Foodi, producing frozen ready meals, pizza, snacks and appetisers.

Based in Secaucus, New Jersey, Happi Foodi was founded by CEO Sam Rockwell and COO Justin Samuels. It supplies own-branded products to retail customers such as Walmart, Target and Kroger. The company also serves the out-of-home channel and private-label clients.

“Through our partnership with Happi Foodi, we are working together to expand their business by leveraging each other’s strengths,” Maruha Nichiro said in a statement.

“We have made this investment based on our strategy focused on a capital and business alliance with an experienced partner who will continue to scale and grow in frozen-food manufacturing and continue to capture cutting-edge food sales in North America.”

The Japanese firm operates in the US through a number of businesses: Maruha Nichiro Meat and Products USA; Westward Seafoods; Alyeska Seafoods; and Trans-Ocean Products.

Last year, the company expanded its presence in Japan with a 65% stake in tuna business Marine Access. Maruha Nichiro also acquired Vietnam-based food manufacturer Sai Gon Food, a seafood processor but also a maker of porridge, hot pots and baby food.

Sales and profits for the group fell in the group’s last financial year. In the 12 months to 31 March 2021, sales dropped 4.7% to JPY862.5bn (US$7.1bn).

Operating income declined 5.1% to JPY16.2bn, with profit attributable to company shareholders down 53.9% at JPY5.8bn.

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Free Report
img

What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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