Boasting a dominant share of
sales in the North American
market for precooked frozen
seafood for household use,
Gorton's sells its products in a
familiar yellow packaging that
stands out in the frozen food
section of every supermarket in
Gorton's joined the Nissui Group in October, 2001.
Established in the city of Gloucester, Massachusetts, in
1849, Gorton's started out as a fish processing company.
Around 1944, it began producing frozen foods under the
"Gorton's" brand name in the USA, later expanding into
Canada under the "BlueWater" brand name in 1949. Both
brands offer a precooked seafood range including fried
and grilled seafood products made from Alaska Pollack,
Hoki, Salmon and Shrimp, and have recently expanded
into "bowl" products (similar to fried rice dishes in Japan)
suitable for heating in a microwave oven. Meanwhile,
Gorton's succeeded in inventing and commercializing the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish burger in 1962.
Also asked to produce the "batter" for McDonald's chicken nuggets, Gorton's has become an
important member of the McDonald's family.
Gorton's has a huge presence in the North American precooked frozen foods industry. The
decision to acquire it was based on the belief that it would lend a large helping hand in Nissui's
global strategy to "create customer-oriented value from marine resources" because of its
relationships with UniSea, Inc., from which it purchases fillet blocks as well as fish meat
cleaned of bones and red brawn of Alaska Pollack, and Sealord Group, Ltd., from which it
purchases Hoki, as raw materials for Filet-O-Fish.
At the time, there were a number of Nissui Group companies already active in North America:
Nippon Suisan (U.S.A.), Inc., which manages Nissui's North American business and handles exports
and imports; UniSea, which produces surimi and processes white fish; and Fishking
Processors, Inc., which produces frozen food for commercial use. The addition of Gorton's, a
producer of frozen foods for household use, completed Nissui's North American supply chain by
filling out its functions, which now span from raw material procurement and production to sales to
the commercial and household-use markets. Moreover, it put Nissui in a position to push ahead with
"linkage management," aimed at creating customer-oriented value by leveraging the synergies of
the Nissui Group's businesses and functions worldwide.