All of us at Furuta Confectionery thank you for your patronage of our company and products. We are deeply grateful for the support and consideration we have received throughout our 67-year history.
This year is a year of change. Along with the symbolism of entering the Reiwa calendar era, the business scene is actively transforming. Not only are taste preferences changing, but what consumers seek is shifting, from commodity toward concept. Furthermore, an increase of the national consumption tax appears imminent. A year with so much change at the forefront is highly unusual. It has been decades since we faced such a tumultuous year, and we are ready and eager for the challenges.
This year also marks the sixtieth anniversary of the incorporation of Furuta Confectionery Co., a moment that is ripe for renewal, and we are making four key adjustments to our product strategy.
First, changes in the positioning of our brands. New products are coming into the Family Chocolate line led by the Nama Cream Chocolate brand. We are ramping up production of the new line of Kaki no Tane (Persimmon Seed) Chocolate – named for the shape – to solidify it as our next key product. And we are planning stronger promotion of three established brands, including Do-Re-Mi Song Chocolate which is now 40 years old.
Second, we have news in the Chocolate Egg line, now marking its 20th year. Building on the momentum of the “Detective Conan” manga series which released its 100th volume in May, we are releasing a new Pixar series centered on the “Toy Story” franchise.
A new face will join the line this fall with the introduction of Choco Egg Kids, alongside Colorful Eggs and Choco Choco Eggs.
Third, expansion of our Pocketable Sweets. We are adding the popular new cocoa bean variety known as ruby chocolate, in the form of bars. They will be tied in with other long-selling products to boost our entire set of sweets associated with media characters. Fourth, there is much excitement around our Baked Confectionery lines. Following through on the brand expansion promise of our recently completed new factory, we are introducing the Sequoia series. We will also expand the series of cookies associated with other corporate brands, which were well received in the past year, and strengthen both the Wafu-Zanmai series featuring traditional Japanese flavors, and the character series.
In production technology, we are moving toward ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 certifications, building more robust quality control systems in order to bring our customers the strongest safety along with broad smiles. Furuta Confectionery looks forward to your ongoing advice and encouragement.