Mikawaya, the Los Angeles-based company that originated and first commercialized mochi ice cream in the United States in the early 1990s, has launched the MyMo brand mochi ice cream. The line offers Ripe Strawberry, Sweet Mango, Double Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Cookies & Cream, Green Tea and Mint Chocolate Chip premium ice cream wrapped in sweet, soft dough. Distributed in 289-gram six-packs, the calorie count for each dumpling-size serving is 110.
The flavors, formulated to appeal especially to mainstream millennial consumers, are now available at nearly 200 locations in a dozen markets in the Northern California, Midwest, Northeast and Southeast regions. A nationwide rollout to major retail chains and foodservice outlets will take place in 2017.
“We are very excited to introduce MyMo to consumers who are always looking for a unique new snack or dessert treat,” said Mikawaya President and CEO Jerry Bucan. “Mochi ice cream is emerging as one of the top new food trends in the United States. The consumers we’re marketing to are looking for new, interesting treats, and want to share that discovery with their family and friends.”
The Mikawaya brand of mochi ice cream has been widely sold in traditional Asian grocery stores and specialty retail shops for more than 20 years. One of the country’s leading conventional supermarket chains first picked up the product in the mid-1990s and has been carrying it ever since.”
Mikawaya, founded in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1910 by the Hashimoto family, was acquired by private equity firm Century Park Capital Partners in 2015. For over 100 years the company specialized in the crafting of traditional and authentic Japanese pastries and confections, including small-batch artisanal production of traditional mochi dough made of pounded sticky rice.
El Segundo, California-headquartered Century Park Capital Partners, which also owns Dickinson Frozen Foods, is betting that the right mix of marketing and merchandising of the MyMo line extension will increase Mikawaya brand business appreciably. Potential for market growth is though to be considerable, based on a survey commissioned by the company which revealed that only 20% of the US population is familiar with mochi ice cream. At the same time, nine out of ten consumers who sampled the frozen novelty liked the treat and said they would buy it.