Soy sauce producer Kikkoman Corp. celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first overseas factory in the U.S. on June 9.
Yuzaburo Mogi, Kikkoman’s former president and honorary chairman who was instrumental in the establishment of the maiden foreign facility in Walworth, Wisconsin, was present
at the celebration.
“Opening the plant was a large and risky investment, but it paid off, and our sales have continued to grow to this day,” Mogi was quoted saying.
During the celebration, the company announced a $5 million donation to the University of Wisconsin System to be used for research in farming and fresh water.
Kikkoman Day: The government of Wisconsin declared June 9 as “Kikkoman Day” in recognition of the company’s impact and contribution to the local community.
The Wisconsin facility, which is the largest soy sauce-producing site in the world, laid the foundation for Kikkoman’s successful foray into the American market after its opening in 1973. The company then expanded its operations by establishing a second facility in California in 1998.
A global brand: Today, Kikkoman soy sauce can be found on the shelves of nearly every major supermarket in the country, with the company capturing over 50% of the market share.
As Kikkoman’s research has found that around 60% of U.S. households have soy sauce in stock, Mogi expressed his desire to see the figure eventually reach 100%. Kikkoman continued its global expansion by venturing into Europe and China, with sales outside of Japan accounting for 70% of its overall revenue as of June.
Looking forward: Mogi stressed the importance of reducing reliance on its core product, soy sauce, and diversifying the company’s offerings. He identified soy milk as a potential candidate for expanding Kikkoman’s business ventures.