OSAKA, JAPAN — Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd., the Japanese maker of Pocky snacks, has agreed to acquire TCHO Ventures, Inc., a Berkeley, Calif.-based premium chocolate manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 2005, TCHO manufactures organic, fair-trade chocolate bars ranging from single-origin varieties to indulgent flavor combinations such as mint chip gelato and orange toffee.
“TCHO, a premium craft chocolate company known for its superior quality chocolate, has earned strong brand recognition in the U.S. market and particularly amongst millennials, the generation with the highest purchase intent,” said Ezaki Glico. “The overall market in the premium chocolate category is expecting strong continued growth, and by acquiring TCHO and entering this market, Ezaki Glico aims to enhance its chocolate business.”
With 23 group companies in Japan and 12 subsidiaries in 9 countries, Ezaki Glico has a total of 19 plants and 5,210 employees globally, producing confectionery, ice cream products, processed foods, desserts, milk products, baby formula and food ingredients. The company had consolidated sales of 353.2 billion Japanese yen ($3.29 billion) in fiscal year 2016. Its U.S. business, Ezaki Glico USA Corp., was founded in 2003 in Irvine, Calif., to sell products including Pocky, a brand of chocolate-dipped biscuit sticks, to American consumers.