Morinaga America Foods to open first U.S. facility in North Carolina

Japanese candy maker Morinaga America Foods is investing $48 million in manufacturing space in Orange County, North Carolina, according to a statement by North Carolina's Department of Commerce. The company is Japan's largest candy maker and has $1.75 billion in sales worldwide, News & Observer reported.

This 120,000-square-foot plant will be its first manufacturing facility outside of Asia, according to the department of commerce's statement. The company hopes to have the facility up and running by next summer where it will blend syrup, sugars and flavorings to create soft candies similar to Starbursts.

The company was able to expand in the U.S. because of a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund worth approximately $264,000. Morinaga will receive the funding once it meets job creation and area investment performance standards. Orange County is also using state grants to pay for water and sewer improvements to the location, and Durham Tech's Orange County campus will train new employees, News & Observer reported.

Morinaga America Foods will hire 90 new employees to operate the facility.

Businesses moving to the U.S. for the first time should partner with local manufacturing recruiters to help find the most qualified candidates for their open positions.