Kikkoman Corporation
Native name
Company typePublic (K.K)
TYO: 2801
Founded1603; 421 years ago (1603) (oldest establishment)[1]
December 7, 1917; 106 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, China, Taiwan, and Canada.[4] Kikkoman is the most popular brand of soy sauce in Japan[5] and the United States.[6][5] The city of Düsseldorf, Germany, is the European headquarters of the company.[7] A plant in Sappemeer began operations in 1997 and now produces over 400 million litres of soy sauce per year.[8]


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".[9]

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.[10] Kikkoman was originally known as the "Noda Shoyu Corporation" before 1940, when they adopted a single nationwide brand name.[11]


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Soy sauce

Kikkoman soy sauce is a renowned product that adheres to the traditional method of natural brewing, resulting in a distinctive and nuanced flavor profile. The intricate process commences with an extended soaking of soybeans in water, followed by a high-temperature steaming process. These treated soybeans are then meticulously blended with crushed roasted wheat. The introduction of salt not only serves as a potent anti-bacterial agent but also functions as a preservative, ensuring the longevity and stability of the soy sauce. 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 takes place to create unique flavors. 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 pasteurized using steam, which also stops any enzymic activity. The final product is then ready for inspection and bottling.[12] Kikkoman has a distinctive bottle for its soy sauce, designed by Kenji Ekuan in 1961.[13]


Kikkoman Soymilk is made through the use of carefully selected soybeans cultivated in the great nature and employing the methods to ensure product freshness, Kikkoman has launched a wide range of soymilk products to introduce new ideas to people's everyday meals. Kikkoman Soymilk is the leading soymilk brand in Japan. Beginning in 2018, Kikkoman expanded the business to overseas and began delivering a variety of high-quality soymilk products from Japan to the Asia /Oceania region primarily.[14]

Tomato juice and ketchup

Kikkoman started the production of tomato juice and ketchup in 1962. Their Gunma plant has been dedicated to the production of tomato seasonings, while the Nagano plant focuses on beverage production. The new tomato ketchup “Lycopene Rich” was launched in August 2013, it is a product that abundantly uses ripe tomatoes and has since been developed as a series of products providing new value - tomato sauce, puree, pizza sauce, tomato beverages, and others. As a division dedicated to the production and sales of fresh tomatoes and vegetable seedlings, Nippon Del Monte Agri Company was established in 2013. The company has increased harvest yields by incorporating advanced technology from the Netherlands and establishing farming methods and technologies optimized for Japan.[15]


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. ^ GmbH, Kikkoman Trading Europe. "Contact". Kikkoman Trading Europe GmbH. Retrieved 2023-09-01.
  8. ^ "Groningen in Beeld" (in Dutch). RTV Noord. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Kikkoman Corporation". Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Kikkoman History (1917-1969), Kikkoman Corporation
  12. ^ "Making Soy Sauce". Kikkoman Corporation. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Japanese designer behind iconic soy sauce bottle dies at 85". ABS-CBN News. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  14. ^ "soymilk business". kikkoman corporation. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  15. ^ "del monte business". kikkoman corporation. Retrieved 16 August 2023.