New firm to market Golden Gourmet, Hokto mushrooms

05/29/2008 12:00:00 AM
Don Schrack

(May 29, 8:53 a.m.) A new marketing firm, The Kinoko Co., Oceanside, Calif., will serve as the exclusive marketing agent for organic mushrooms carrying the Golden Gourmet and Hokto Kinoko labels.

The company, which had been in the planning stages for more than a year, was fast-forwarded when Golden Gourmet encountered difficulties over its Perishable Agriculture Commodities Act license, said Dylan Anderson, president and owner of The Kinoko Co.

A 250,000-square-foot growing and packing facility in San Marcos, Calif., is scheduled to be completed this year.

“Human hands don’t touch the mushrooms until the package is opened by the consumer,” he said.

Golden Gourmet will grow and pack mushrooms in the new plant, Anderson said, as will Hokto Kinoko USA, a division of Hokuto Corp., Japan.

The annual capacity of the operation is 6 million pounds, which Anderson said he hopes to reach in four years. To hasten sales growth, Anderson said The Kinoko Co. plans to launch a public relations campaign to educate consumers about the nutritional and health benefits of maitake, brown beach, white beach and king trumpet, the four organic mushroom varieties it is marketing. There are no plans to expand to other mushroom varieties, Anderson said.

Before forming The Kinoko Co., Anderson was vice president of sales for Golden Gourmet Mushrooms Inc., San Marcos. His father, Craig Anderson, is president of Golden Gourmet.

In April, Craig Anderson told The Packer that Golden Gourmet halted its domestic production and began importing mushrooms after reaching a working agreement with Hokto Kinoko USA to build the new facility on Golden Gourmet land. An administrative oversight caused the company’s license to expire, he said.

The Kinoko Co. has obtained a PACA license under Dylan Anderson’s name, he said, and hopes to move into new offices in Oceanside in early June.



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