Speaking of soy sauce, Kikkoman soy sauce is one of the representative seasonings of Japan.
Even in America, it seems that almost no one knows about Kikkoman soy sauce.
In the previous article, there was a story about “Mr. Tofu” who spread tofu to America, but is there someone who spread “soy sauce” to America this time?
I will answer these questions.
Kikkoman’s “Taste of Japan” rooted in the United States
Many people have an image of soy sauce as a seasoning unique to Japan, but it is now one of the seasonings used all over the world.
In fact, Kikkoman, a major Japanese soy sauce maker, continues to receive about 57% of its sales from overseas expansion, with more than half of its sales coming from overseas.
This article summarizes the reasons for Kikkoman’s success overseas.
・History of Kikkoman
・Why Kikkoman entered the US market
・ Kikkoman recommended soy sauce
History of Kikkoman
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Kikkoman manufactures and sells brewed seasonings such as soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
Soy sauce production is said to have begun in the early Edo period, and it is said that soy sauce was distributed from what is now Noda City, Chiba Prefecture, to Edo. Blessed with raw materials such as high-quality soybeans, wheat, and salt from Edo Bay, as well as the climate and water, the production of soy sauce rapidly developed.
In 1917, Noda Soy Sauce Co., Ltd., the predecessor of Kikkoman, was established, and in 1940, more than 200 trademarks at the time of establishment were unified into Kikkoman, which is said to be the birth of the current Kikkoman.
Before World War II, soy sauce exports were mainly for Japanese people living abroad, but after the resumption of exports, we shifted our focus to developing overseas markets in order to spread soy sauce to local dining tables. bottom.
After World War II, when GHQ tried to supply defatted soybean raw materials mainly to the amino acid industry, Noda Shoyu improved a new soy sauce manufacturing method, shortening the brewing period and improving the efficiency of raw material utilization. Then, once again, the patent was released free of charge to the soy sauce industry.
The GHQ’s decision was overruled by the soy sauce industry-led raw material supply, and brewing soy sauce was not disrupted.
Kikkoman expands into America
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Many Americans visited Japan after the war, and Americans had tasted soy sauce and knew of its existence.
Moreover, by appealing to Americans that soy sauce goes well with meat dishes, many of them were interested and exports increased.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, sales began to plateau, and although Kikkoman had been growing steadily in Japan after the war, the growth in sales gradually slowed down.
However, the price of soy sauce itself was cheap, and shipping costs from Japan were high. On top of that, even if we wanted to produce locally, we could not do that because it would require a large investment.
As a solution to this situation, we decided to expand into the United States.
Kikkoman entered the US market in 1957, when it established a sales company, more than 65 years ago.
While sales grew steadily, transportation costs tended to rise, so in 1973 a factory was built in Walworth, Wisconsin, and the local production of soy sauce began.
In this way, steady deficit reduction measures will improve earnings. After confirming that there was demand for soy sauce in the United States, it was finally decided to build a production plant as a base for full-scale overseas expansion.
This American factory was established in 1973 and achieved profitability in 1975.
In particular, from the very beginning, we put a lot of effort into appealing that our restaurant is a good match for meat dishes.
Local sales companies also independently develop products, and teriyaki, which is called barbecue sauce in Japan, and soy sauce mixed with lemon and lime juice were popular sellers.
Kikkoman was convinced that there was a high demand for soy sauce overseas, and in 1979 established a sales company in Europe based on the successful business model in the United States.
Furthermore, in 1997, we built a factory in the Netherlands and continued to aggressively expand overseas.
As a result, Kikkoman is now a global company with operations in 100 countries around the world.
(2) The careful strategy typical of a Japanese company, of proposing ways to make use of soy sauce in a way that matches the food culture of the country, paid off.
I would be happy if you could refer to it even a little.
Thank you for reading to the end.