Nisshin Flour Milling Company, Ltd.
Nisshin Flour Milling Company, Ltd.
Sales: ¥321 billion (US$2.57 billion)
Stock Index: Tokyo Osaka
The Nisshin Flour Milling Company is Japan’s largest manufacturer of wheat flour and a leading producer of livestock feed, processed foods, fine chemicals, and engineering technology. Founded in 1900 by Teiichiro Shoda as the Tatebayashi Four Milling Company, Nisshin’s initial business operations focused on wheat-flour production, an area which has consistently accounted for over half of the company’s total sales. When Tatebayashi merged in 1908 with the new Yokohama-based Nisshin Flour Milling Company, the company incorporated under its present name and moved its head office to Tokyo. A research center was established in 1916 to develop new products, including the world’s first synthetic vitamin B6. With construction of the company’s largest mill at Tsurumi in 1926, Nisshin’s flour milling division expanded its production capacity for Japan’s growing export market.
Nisshin’s milling plants, damaged during World War II, were rebuilt and expanded between 1945 and 1949 to meet postwar demands for wheat flour. Further modernization occurred in 1957 with the installation of state-of-the-art pneumatic conveying equipment from West Germany and Switzerland.
In the early 1960s Nisshin diversified into areas related to its flour-milling technology and expertise. For example, the feed division was formed in 1961 to take advantage of Japan’s increasing meat consumption and the corresponding growth of the livestock industry. The division currently ranks third in Japanese livestock-feed production and has since grown to include the Nisshin Stockfarming Center Company for the commercial breeding and selling of hogs.
In the 1960s, Nisshin moved into the commercial processed-food market. Nisshin Foods Company was established in 1962 to manufacture cake mixes and other flour-based products for the consumer market. Nisshin-DCA Foods was created in 1966 through a joint venture with DC A Food Industries of the United States, to produce doughnut mixes. In 1967 the company purchased Ma. Ma-Macaroni Company, a pasta manufacturer. Nisshin Foods Company was the first food company to improve product quality in response to consumer demand by using imported 100% durum semolina flour, which is better for processing, instead of domestic wheat flour. New products included convenience foods like frozen noodles, frozen dough, and flour mixes for fried food.
In the early 1970s, Nisshin expanded its product line by forming or purchasing subsidiaries to market pet food, ham, and sausages, create stock-breeding operations, and develop restaurant and catering services. The fine chemicals division, part of Nisshin Pharmaceutical Company, markets vitamins and other pharmaceutical products manufactured by another division, the Nisshin Chemicals Company. The company also has several international divisions. Nisshin Seifun do Brasil was formed in 1977 to develop business in Brazil, and Nisshin Badische Company produces and sells feed additives through a joint venture with BASF of West Germany.
In anticipation of its ninetieth anniversary, Nisshin has initiated a company-wide strategy known as “NI-90” to encourage innovation and commitment to continued growth. Led by its current president, Osamu Shoda, Nisshin faces the challenges of international trade, changing consumer tastes, increased foreign competition, and a fluctuating yen. As a member of the powerful Fuyo Group, a leading Japanese industrial group with close ties to Fuji Bank, Nisshin has a solid financial backing for future undertakings.
Nisshin Feed Co., Ltd.; Nisshin Stockfarming Center Co., Ltd.; Nisshin Pet Food Co., Ltd.; Nisshin Ham Co., Ltd.; Nisshin-DCA Foods Inc.; Ma. Ma-Macaroni Co., Ltd.; Nisshin Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; Nisshin Engineering Co., Ltd.; Fresh Food Service Co., Ltd.