Case Study

The Mochi Ice Cream Company

Mochi ice cream is an emerging and growing specialty food category, and with its innovative and high-quality products, The Mochi Ice Cream Company is the category leader. This is a truly rare and exciting opportunity to grow both the category and The Mochi Ice Cream Company business by bringing this ethnic-influenced and on-trend product more fully into the general market via strategic selling, strong consumer marketing and product innovation.

Craig Berger

President & CEO, The Mochi Ice Cream Company

Overview

The Mochi Ice Cream Company is a 106-year old producer of specialty frozen desserts. The Mochi Ice Cream Company is credited as being the creator of mochi ice cream, a handheld and portion-controlled ball of premium ice cream enrobed in a soft and chewy rice cake. The Mochi Ice Cream Company is the domestic market’s largest producer of this Japanese specialty frozen dessert. The products are distributed through both regional and national grocery chains and independent stores. They are also distributed in Japanese and general food service locations under the brand names Mikawaya and MyMo.

Highlights

  • Product leader in growing mochi ice cream category
  • Over 100 years of brand equity
  • Opportunity to expand distribution

Details

Headquarters – Los Angeles, California
President & CEO – Craig Berger
Industry – Consumer Products
Website – www.mikawaya.com

 

The Situation

The Mochi Ice Cream Company has been a family owned business since being founded by the Hashimoto family in 1910.  The owner of The Mochi Ice Cream Company was interested in transitioning the business to a new owner that could bring added resources and capabilities that would increase the product’s market awareness and growth.

Century Park viewed The Mochi Ice Cream Company as a great opportunity to invest in a well-positioned business that was the product leader in a growing, on-trend niche within the frozen novelty food category.

How We Helped

Century Park provided the equity capital necessary to acquire the business from its owner, while maintaining an operational relationship with him to successfully transition and guide the business into its next phase of growth.

Century Park hired a highly qualified consumer products executive in Craig Berger, the former CFO of ACTIVATE Drinks and Fuji Food Products, to join as CEO.  Century Park also bolstered the Board of Directors with consumer products executive Jim Buch from Century Park’s Executive Council.