Spanning over 120 years, Morinaga’s history has been sustained by the smiles of our customers, especially children.
With gratitude in our hearts, we therefore wish to continue to carry out activities that put even brighter smiles on the faces of children who will lead the future.
“Aiming to nurture children’s healthy physical and mental development” through hands-on experiences
Children develop by interacting with people in society and by accumulating a broad range of experiences. Nowadays, however, the social environment is changing because of advances in IT and other factors, and the opportunities for children to have direct experiences are decreasing.
Just as our founder wished to provide nutritional support to children of the Meiji and Taisho periods (the late 1800s and early 1900s) through Western confectioneries, Morinaga today aims to support the healthy physical and mental development of children—leaders of the future—by providing experience-based programs tailored to the developmental stage and appropriate themes for each age group from the perspectives of experience in food education, nature exploration, and sports.
Morinaga believes that the value of confectioneries lies in supplementing nutrition and its role in communication that connects people to people and hearts to hearts.
Morinaga donates “Mel and Mar’s Picnic,” our original picture book for confectionery education, to children’s nursery facilities. This is aimed at helping children develop creativity while learning about, in a fun way, confectionery’s roles and how to properly associate with confectionery. The nursery facilities use the book for such purposes as storytelling and drama-based workshop.
Children listening to stories/participating in drama-based workshops
At the Sweets Factory, a pavilion exhibited by Morinaga in the KidZania, children can experience the joy of working and try manufacturing techniques through the production of HI-CHEW candies. They can also learn about food hygiene, rules, and manners, while developing independence and sociality.
Through factory tours, participants see and experience, through hands-on activities, the fun and true pleasure of manufacturing, as well as the measures used to ensure food safety and security. Furthermore, as a 120th anniversary commemoration project, we opened the Morinaga Angel Museum “MORIUM” within the premises of the Tsurumi Factory in the spring of 2020. Visitors to MORIUM can learn about Morinaga’s history in a fun manner through various exhibits and videos.
Morinaga Angel Museum “MORIUM”
(Public open day: Yet to be decided)
Employees visit elementary schools to teach a class about the industrial production of milk caramels. The class targets fifth graders and offers a sense of realism as if they are on a factory tour. The class aims to teach about the ingenious attempts and hard work of industrial production, as well as our passion toward manufacturing. This helps deepen their learning in textbook.
Pupils watch the video of production process and take part in quiz and workshop to participate experience-based class.
Confectioneries have the power to make people happy
I participated in the lesson because I wanted children to love caramel more. I was nervous about standing on the podium, but I was very happy that many children listened to me with serious faces and asked questions earnestly. The smiles the children gave me when they received caramels as a souvenir reminded me that “Confectioneries make people happy,” and made me love caramels even more. This is an opportunity to understand the value of our products. I would like to expand this activity to many employees.
MIRAI Research & Innovation, R&D Center, Morinaga & Co., Ltd.
—To support the healthy physical and mental development of children who will lead the future—
“Help children find something important for their lives with their own eyes through hands-on experiences in the great outdoors.”
Based on this business philosophy, we provide camping opportunities to children in the hope that they will gain the “ability to survive” spontaneously in an extraordinary environment.
Since 1999, we have organized six-day/five-night exploratory expeditions to uninhabited Islands under the Morinaga Little Angels Education Project. The Project, a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of our founding, was launched to reflect on the significant changes occurred in our children’s living environment during the last ten decades and to help them have an active but lively and spiritually-affluent childhood in the 21st century.
In FY2020/3, the Project’s location was shifted from uninhabited islands to the Fuji Five Lakes area near the majestic Mt. Fuji. A total of 32 elementary school pupils went on a five-day/four-night adventure as a team of comrades who had never met before with each other. They explored the transparent lake waters, clear skies, dense woodlands, and caves. By participating in the camp and various adventures away from their everyday lives, the children gained the ability to survive and achieved a significant growth.
Over two hours of mountain climbing
Adventurous swimming in the Lake Saiko
In the exploratory expedition event, which was held for the first time in FY2020/3, we conduct the SDGs Work in which children work on the SDGs through the camping experience. Participants in the SDGs Work, an original program developed by Morinaga, learn about the SDGs before joining the camp, select the SDGs goals they want to work on during the camping trip, and share the goals with their group’s members. They also select goals to be worked on as the group, take actions necessary to achieve the goals in cooperation with the group’s members, and carry out a review after the camp.
The most selected SDGs goal was the “Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.”
To achieve the Goals, the participants made efforts voluntary and daily. These efforts included avoiding food waste, eating all the food cooked, and ensuring recycling to reduce garbage.
Group discussions on SDGs
Since 2008, we have been conducting industry-academia joint research in collaboration with Tokyo Gakugei University, in an effort to evaluate our nature exploration program from an external professional perspective and upgrade the content of the program’s activities. In the research, we conduct surveys before, immediately after, and one month after the camp, to measure their level of satisfaction with the camp, eagerness to participate in activities, and the degree of their growth. The research’s results are used to further improve the program. In the survey conducted in FY2020/3, a high score was observed for all items.
Great social contribution! —Development of children through nature exploration—
It has been 22 years since the launch of the joint research. It was launched in 1999, when I participated as staff member in the exploratory expedition to an uninhabited Islands under the Morinaga Little Angels Education Project, which was carried out to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Morinaga’s founding. Since then, the project has been continued until today on an annual basis, as a gift for children.
Since I assumed my current position (in Tokyo Gakugei University) in 2008, I have also been engaged in the verification of the project’s educational effect in the form of industry-academia joint research, which pays particular attention to children’s “ability to survive.” The research showed, with a scientific evidence, that the camping experience allows children to grow significantly, by playing and cooperating with friends in the wilderness and overcoming various challenges.
No other company implements any initiative like this. I know that camping is a risky project for a company. However, I hope that Morinaga will continue the project in the future and make use of its expertise to play a pioneering role and act as a model case of a social contribution project aimed at developing the youth through nature exploration.
Associate Professor, Advisor to the President
Tokyo Gakugei University
We annually hold a nutrition seminar and an exercise event designed to improve athletic competency for athletes—elementary school pupils and junior to high school students who belong to the “AEON Bike Jr. Academy,” a project jointly led by professional mountain bike athletes and AEON Bike Co., Ltd.—and their parents.
After a demonstration by professional mountain bikers, trainers and nutritionists from Morinaga Training Lab (see p. 32) provide training lessons in which participants are required to do physical activities, as well as lectures on the hydration and recovery and on nutrients necessary for children in their growth phases.
Exercise to improve athletic competency (FY2020/3)
A lecture on the nutrients required in the growth phase (FY2020/3)
Morinaga Training Lab, which is mainly in charge of providing training guidance and nutritional support to athletes, devised the Ottotto Calisthenics in collaboration with Yokohama Sport Association, in the aim of promoting, as much as possible, children’s healthy growth through exercise and diet.
The Calisthenics was devised in the expectation that various forms of body movements, such as jumping, rolling, and standing on one leg, will promote the development of athletic ability in early childhood, thereby reducing injuries caused by falls. In the Calisthenics, we incorporated the image of the sea friends, the characters appearing in our Ottotto snack, so that children can enjoy the exercise.
Ottotto Calisthenics educational videos
The Company considers its key tasks as a food manufacturer to be delivery of safe, reliable products to customers and procurement of sustainable raw materials that are not harmful to the global environment or society.
“I wish to provide delicious, highly nutritious Western confectionaries to the people of Japan.” Morinaga & Co., Ltd. was launched with this strong desire as expressed by Taichiro Morinaga, the company’s founder.
The Morinaga Group is aware of various social issues that it faces at every stage of its value chain (planning and development, procurement, production, distribution and sales, and consumption/disposal) and is promoting measures to resolve them.
Society as a whole is becoming increasingly health-conscious and there is a growing need to take proper nutrients in an easy and functional way. The Morinaga Group has been working on the development of wellness products that can help people lead a healthy and happy life.