Vitasoy USA and Nasoya Foods Open New Ayer Production Facility

Companies Increase Soymilk and Tofu Production Capacity to Meet Soaring U.S.

Soy Demand



24 Apr, 1998, 01:00 ET from Vitasoy USA Inc.

    AYER, Mass., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- In an event reflecting the rapidly
 expanding consumer demand for soyfoods, Vitasoy USA Inc., the country's
 leading producer of soymilk and tofu and its subsidiary Nasoya Foods,
 officially open their new Ayer, Mass., facility today.  The
 120,000-square-foot food processing center will be the new home of Nasoya
 Foods, which has relocated from its 30,000-square-foot processing plant in
 Leominster, Mass., and will also house Vitasoy's soymilk production.
     Today's ribbon cutting commemorates the fruition of Vitasoy and Nasoya
 business agreements with state and local officials, others who will join in
 the festivities include:  the company's 135 Ayer employees; members of the
 community; and honored guest, Winston Lo, chairman of Vitasoy International
 along with a delegation from the parent company in Hong Kong.
     "Today marks the beginning of what we expect will be a mutually beneficial
 and long-lasting relationship with the people of the Ayer community," said
 Yvonne Lo, Vitasoy USA president.  "The new plant creates additional jobs in
 Massachusetts, allows Vitasoy to better serve its customers and keep up with
 increasing consumer demand for our products."
     The $145 million plant enables Nasoya to produce enough tofu to supply
 one-third of all domestic tofu demand and allows Vitasoy to produce its
 soymilk in the U.S. for the first time (having been previously imported from
 Vitasoy's Hong Kong-based parent company).  The Nasoya Foods plant -- the
 largest of its kind in the country -- has the capacity to produce 25 million
 pounds of tofu, and more than 5 million gallons of soymilk annually.
     The move marks the third time since its founding 20 years ago, that
 organic tofu leader Nasoya Foods has expanded its production capacity to keep
 up with consumer demand.  Vitasoy expects to add approximately 30 full-time
 positions in Ayer by the end of 1998, bringing the company's total number of
 employees nationwide to 280.
     Vitasoy USA Inc. chose the former New England Shrimp Company after a
 methodical three-year search for a facility that would accommodate the
 production of both tofu and soymilk.  The building was also selected for its
 proximity to the former plant in order to retain more than 90 percent of
 Nasoya's current employees.  The newly-renovated site will produce soymilk;
 tofu; the company's mayonnaise alternative, Nayonaise(R); and
 Vegi-Dressing(TM).
     U.S. soymilk sales have been growing 10 to 15 percent a year since 1990,
 reaching $150 million in sales in 1996, according to Soyatech, a market
 research and publishing firm.  The tofu market has been growing at five
 percent per year since the early '90s, doubling to 10 percent in 1996 when it
 reached $125 million in sales.  Soy is also the staple of the meat-alternative
 industry, which has grown 30 percent per year during the past two years.  In
 1996, sales of all soyfoods reached $1 billion, up from $760 million in 1990.
     "My goal when I started this company in 1979 was to make soymilk and tofu
 household words in the U.S.," said Lo.  "With the help of medical research
 showing soy's health benefits, that goal is becoming a reality."
     Founded in 1978, Nasoya Foods, Inc. manufactures and markets organic tofu,
 Asian pasta, Vegi-Dressing(TM) and Nayonaise(R) Nasoya's products can be found
 nationally in natural food stores and major retail outlets.
     Headquartered in South San Francisco, Calif., Vitasoy USA is the largest
 tofu producer in the U.S. with more than 30 percent share of the market,
 according to A.C. Nielsen for the 52 weeks ending December 31, 1997.  Founded
 in 1979, the company manufactures and markets soy beverages, tofu, Asian
 pastas, Juices, teas, veggie-burgers, veggie-dogs and tofu seasonings under
 several well-known brand names including Vitasoy(R), Azumaya(R), Nasoya(R),
 NewMenu(R) and Vita(R).  Vitasoy's line of products can be found in major
 supermarkets and natural food stores throughout the U.S.
 
 

SOURCE Vitasoy USA Inc.
    AYER, Mass., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- In an event reflecting the rapidly
 expanding consumer demand for soyfoods, Vitasoy USA Inc., the country's
 leading producer of soymilk and tofu and its subsidiary Nasoya Foods,
 officially open their new Ayer, Mass., facility today.  The
 120,000-square-foot food processing center will be the new home of Nasoya
 Foods, which has relocated from its 30,000-square-foot processing plant in
 Leominster, Mass., and will also house Vitasoy's soymilk production.
     Today's ribbon cutting commemorates the fruition of Vitasoy and Nasoya
 business agreements with state and local officials, others who will join in
 the festivities include:  the company's 135 Ayer employees; members of the
 community; and honored guest, Winston Lo, chairman of Vitasoy International
 along with a delegation from the parent company in Hong Kong.
     "Today marks the beginning of what we expect will be a mutually beneficial
 and long-lasting relationship with the people of the Ayer community," said
 Yvonne Lo, Vitasoy USA president.  "The new plant creates additional jobs in
 Massachusetts, allows Vitasoy to better serve its customers and keep up with
 increasing consumer demand for our products."
     The $145 million plant enables Nasoya to produce enough tofu to supply
 one-third of all domestic tofu demand and allows Vitasoy to produce its
 soymilk in the U.S. for the first time (having been previously imported from
 Vitasoy's Hong Kong-based parent company).  The Nasoya Foods plant -- the
 largest of its kind in the country -- has the capacity to produce 25 million
 pounds of tofu, and more than 5 million gallons of soymilk annually.
     The move marks the third time since its founding 20 years ago, that
 organic tofu leader Nasoya Foods has expanded its production capacity to keep
 up with consumer demand.  Vitasoy expects to add approximately 30 full-time
 positions in Ayer by the end of 1998, bringing the company's total number of
 employees nationwide to 280.
     Vitasoy USA Inc. chose the former New England Shrimp Company after a
 methodical three-year search for a facility that would accommodate the
 production of both tofu and soymilk.  The building was also selected for its
 proximity to the former plant in order to retain more than 90 percent of
 Nasoya's current employees.  The newly-renovated site will produce soymilk;
 tofu; the company's mayonnaise alternative, Nayonaise(R); and
 Vegi-Dressing(TM).
     U.S. soymilk sales have been growing 10 to 15 percent a year since 1990,
 reaching $150 million in sales in 1996, according to Soyatech, a market
 research and publishing firm.  The tofu market has been growing at five
 percent per year since the early '90s, doubling to 10 percent in 1996 when it
 reached $125 million in sales.  Soy is also the staple of the meat-alternative
 industry, which has grown 30 percent per year during the past two years.  In
 1996, sales of all soyfoods reached $1 billion, up from $760 million in 1990.
     "My goal when I started this company in 1979 was to make soymilk and tofu
 household words in the U.S.," said Lo.  "With the help of medical research
 showing soy's health benefits, that goal is becoming a reality."
     Founded in 1978, Nasoya Foods, Inc. manufactures and markets organic tofu,
 Asian pasta, Vegi-Dressing(TM) and Nayonaise(R) Nasoya's products can be found
 nationally in natural food stores and major retail outlets.
     Headquartered in South San Francisco, Calif., Vitasoy USA is the largest
 tofu producer in the U.S. with more than 30 percent share of the market,
 according to A.C. Nielsen for the 52 weeks ending December 31, 1997.  Founded
 in 1979, the company manufactures and markets soy beverages, tofu, Asian
 pastas, Juices, teas, veggie-burgers, veggie-dogs and tofu seasonings under
 several well-known brand names including Vitasoy(R), Azumaya(R), Nasoya(R),
 NewMenu(R) and Vita(R).  Vitasoy's line of products can be found in major
 supermarkets and natural food stores throughout the U.S.
 
 SOURCE  Vitasoy USA Inc.