TOKYO & PADUCAH, Ky. - March 25, 2013 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Dippin’ Dots, LLC, the maker of iconic ice cream and frozen treats, announced today the signing of a joint master licensing agreement with Wellness Hanshin, Inc. in Osaka for the exclusive marketing and distribution of Dippin’ Dots products throughout Japan.
The joint announcement was made today by Dippin’ Dots President Scott Fischer and Junji Moritani, president of Wellness Hanshin. Wellness Hanshin is owned by Hanshin Electric Railway Co., a business segment of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Group, Inc.
“This agreement represents an exciting expansion for Dippin’ Dots on the international front,” commented Fischer. “A top strategic initiative remains to increase the points of presence both domestically and internationally. We are achieving this goal through strategic marketing and distribution agreements with well-established, financially sound companies that have relevant experience in the entertainment and food and beverage industries, as well as a deep understanding of the local culture and consumers.
“In Wellness Hanshin, we have found an ideal partner who brings these qualities to the table and presents immediate opportunities to grow our business in Japan and other parts of Asia based on the scale and scope of its operations and solid management team. We are delighted to welcome Wellness Hanshin to the growing Dippin’ Dots global distribution network.”
“The ice cream market in Japan continues to grow, and impulse ice cream sales now exceed $4.8 billion annually,” stated Moritani. “Dippin’ Dots has an opportunity to garner a growing share of this market. The addition of new locations will make the unique frozen treats conveniently accessible to consumers across the country and serve to elevate the presence of the Dippin’ Dots brand, which already enjoys positive intrinsic value from existing consumer awareness.”
Moritani continued, “Dippin’ Dots’ new owners are re-energizing the brand through new product offerings that meet the evolving needs of consumers in Japan and beyond, including a new low-calorie line planned for this year. Their commitment to the brand, product development and willingness to invest in new technologies drew us to Dippin’ Dots. We were impressed with Scott, the members of the management team and their vision for Dippin’ Dots in Japan.”
The master licensing agreement will allow Wellness Hanshin to add numerous locations across Japan. Locations will include an expanded presence across the company’s extensive entertainment properties, such as the popular and legendary Hanshin Tiger baseball team owned by a subsidiary of Hanshin Electric Railway Co., (Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Group).
Dippin’ Dots supplies the growing Asian marketplace from an international manufacturing plant in South Korea. In pursuit of new growth opportunities in the international marketplace, the company created a dedicated group focused on pursuing and serving international opportunities. The group has several active opportunities in various stages of the development in Europe and Asia.
“The global ice cream industry is expanding at a healthy pace with strong year-on-year growth trends for consumption,” Fischer noted. “As is the case in almost every business, innovation moves the needle. Dippin’ Dots was the product of innovation, and we are reclaiming our position as the innovation leader with the introduction of new products and flavors, as well as programs and technologies to support our growing franchise and corporate networks. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dippin’ Dots this summer, we remain equally enthusiastic with regard to our growth opportunities in the United States.”
Dippin’ Dots has produced and distributed its flash frozen tiny beads of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet and flavored ice products since microbiologist Curt Jones invented the cryogenic process in 1988. Made at the company’s production facility in Paducah, Ky., Dippin’ Dots distributes its unique frozen products in all 50 states and 11 countries and employs 170 people
Wellness Hanshin, Osaka, is owned by Hanshin Electric Railway Co., a business segment of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, Inc. The company manages food and beverage facilities at Hanshin Koshien Stadium and handles a wide range of merchandising activities.
Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, Inc., is an Osaka, Japan-based holding company with six business segments. The City Transportation segment is involved in the railway, bus, taxi, automobile maintenance, car rental and vehicle manufacturing businesses. The Real Estate segment is engaged in the provision of real estate leasing, purchase, sale, maintenance and investment services. The Entertainment and Communication segment is engaged in the sports, musicals, theater, advertising, information services and publishing businesses. The Travel and International Transportation segments are involved in the provision of traveling and cargo delivery services. The Hotel segment is engaged in the hotel business. The Others are involved in the provision of construction business, etc.
Dippin’ Dots, LLC
Media Relations Manager
Dippin’ Dots, LLC & Dippin’ Dots Franchising, LLC
Hanshin Wellness Inc.