Kikkoman Corporation
Native name
TypePublic (K.K)
TYO: 2801
Founded1603; 420 years ago (1603) (oldest establishment)[1]
December 7, 1917; 105 years ago (1917-12-07) (incorporated)
Key people
ProductsFood products, beverages, biochemical products, management services
RevenueIncrease US$3.369 billion (2014)
Increase US$123.3 million (2014)
Number of employees
Footnotes / references

Kikkoman Corporation (キッコーマン株式会社, Kikkōman Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese food manufacturer. Its main products and services include soy sauce, food seasoning and flavoring, mirin, shōchū, and sake, juice and other beverages, pharmaceuticals, and restaurant management services.

Kikkoman has production plants and offices in Japan, the U.S., the Netherlands, Singapore, Taiwan, China and Canada.[4] Kikkoman is the most popular brand of soy sauce in Japan[5] and the United States.[6][5] The village of Sappemeer in Groningen, the Netherlands, is the European headquarters of the company. A plant on the site began operations in 1997 and now produces over 400 million litres of soy sauce per annum.[7]


West Japanese-style soy sauce, called shoyu, has been a well-known condiment for over 300 years. Kikkoman is the largest shoyu manufacturing company in the world, and "the one most responsible for introducing shoyu to the West".[8]

Founded contemporarily in 1917, with the merger of eight family-owned companies, Kikkoman is based in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Those companies were founded as early as 1603 by the Mogi and Takanashi families.[9] Kikkoman was originally known as the "Noda Shoyu Corporation" before 1940, when they adopted a single nationwide brand name.[10]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2015)

Soy sauce

Kikkoman soy sauce is naturally brewed. After soaking in water for an extended period, soybeans are steamed at high temperature before they are mixed with crushed roasted wheat. Salt is added, which acts as an anti-bacterial agent and preservative. Next, a genus of the Aspergillus fungus is added to the mixture and left for three days to create shōyu koji, the base for the soy sauce. This base is then transferred to a tank and mixed with a saline solution, which creates a mash known as moromi. Several months of aging follow, when various organic processes occur including lactic acid, alcoholic and organic acid fermentation take place to create unique flavours. The moromi is then mechanically pressed through layers of fabric for around ten hours to extract the raw product.

In the last part of the process, the raw soy sauce is left to separate for 3–4 days, then pasteurised using steam, which also stops any enzymic activity. The final product is then ready for inspection and bottling.[11] Kikkoman has a distinctive bottle for its soy sauce, designed by Kenji Ekuan in 1961.[12]


See also


  1. ^ Shurtleff, William; Aoyagi, Akiko (2012-05-31). "History of Soy Sauce (160 CE to 2012)" (PDF). Soyinfo Center.
  2. ^ "Corporate Profile". Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "Kikkoman Financial Statements". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on August 5, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "Message from the Management". Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Factbook Business Information Fiscal 2008" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  6. ^ "Story of Soy Sauce". Archived from the original on 3 April 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Groningen in Beeld" (in Dutch). RTV Noord. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Kikkoman Corporation". Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  9. ^ Shurtleff, William; Aoyagi, Akiko (2012). History of Soy Sauce (160 CE to 2021): Extensively Annotated Bibliography and Sourcebook (PDF). Lafayette, CA: Soyinfo Center. ISBN 978-1-928914-44-0. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  10. ^ Kikkoman History (1917-1969), Kikkoman Corporation
  11. ^ "Making Soy Sauce". Kikkoman Corporation. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Japanese designer behind iconic soy sauce bottle dies at 85". ABS-CBN News. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.