Gov. Pat McCrory, the Orange County Commissioners and the City of Mebane will join Morinaga & Co., Ltd. to break ground for a new 120,000-square-foot production facility located in Mebane.

The ground breaking ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 5, off of Ben Wilson Road. This occasion marks Morinaga’s first production facility outside of Asia. The company currently operates candy and confectionary production facilities in Japan, Taiwan and China, with sales offices throughout the world.

Confirmed guest speakers include: McCrory; Chairman Gota Morinaga; Toshiaki Fukunaga, president of Morinaga America Foods, Inc.; Board of County Commissioners Chair Barry Jacobs; Mebane Mayor Glendel Stephenson; and Kazuo Sunaga, consul general of Japan in Atlanta.

This significant project was managed by the Orange County Economic Development Department and the N.C. Department of Commerce, resulting in Morinaga’s purchase of a 21-acre site for its initial Hi-Chew candy production facility. The building will be a state-of-the-art, clean USDA-spec facility, constructed by the InSpec Group.

Morinaga America Foods, Inc., will hire approximately 90 employees in the first three years and invest up to $48 million in this Orange County operation. The county’s water and sewer improvements to the site will be significantly reimbursed by a Community Development Block Grant awarded by the State of North Carolina.

The parent company, Morinaga & Co., Ltd., was founded 115 years ago in Tokyo, Japan. With $1.75 billion in global sales, it has become a major international confectionary and candy maker. Morinaga is Asia’s equivalent to a Hershey’s, Mars or Nestle. The company has more than 40 different product lines and holds the No. 1 Japanese domestic market-share for candy. Japan is currently the world’s second-largest candy market, following the United States.