Kuraray's synthetics are for real. The diversified company manufactures chemicals and resins (about half of sales, including copolymer EVAL used in food packaging) and synthetic fibers and textiles (man-made leather, nonwoven fabrics, rayon, and polyester). It also offers engineering and consulting services. Kuraray pioneered the commercialization of several synthetic fibers and resins -- such as its KURALON and polyvinyl alcohol (poval) film products -- for industrial uses. The company, which does most of its business in Japan, is made up of about 80 companies operating in Asia, Europe, and North America. To expand the range of its poval products, it acquired US-based manufacturer MonoSol in 2012.