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Ajinomoto Group History

1900

Dr. Kikunae Ikeda, a chemist, started to develop UMAMI taste from Konbu seaweed.  Mr. Saburosuke Suzuki II established Suzuki Seiyakusho Co.

1908

  • Dr. Ikeda acquired patent for manufacturing seasoning (monosodium glutamate).
  • Mr. Suzuki acquired a joint share of the above-mentioned patent with Dr. Ikeda.
  • The Japanese Interior Ministry certified AJI-NO-MOTO as harmless in terms of health and safety.
  • Registered trademark of Lady & AJI-NO-MOTO.
  • Started production AJI-NO-MOTO in Zushi factory.

1909

  • AJI-NO-MOTO won a bronze medal at the first Japanese Invention Exhibition.
  • Launched AJI-NO-MOTO in Japan on 20th May 1909.

1910

  • Adopted sole agent in Taiwan and launched AJI-NO-MOTO.
  • Adopted sole agent in Korea and launched AJI-NO-MOTO.

1912

Started to sell wheat starch (to spinning companies).

1913

Dr. Kodama, pupil of Dr. Ikeda, discovered that Inosinate is the source of UMAMI taste in dried bonito.

1914

  • Established Kawasaki factory.
  • Adopted sole agent in China.

1917

  • Established Oh-shima factory in Tokyo (closed in 1919).
  • Established S. Suzuki & Co. Ltd. (the present Ajinomoto Co., Inc.).
  • Established Hamanaka factory in Hokkaido (closed in 1921).
  • Opened New York purchasing and sales office (closed in 1941).

1918

Opened Shanghai sales office (closed in 1945).

1920

Established S. Suzuki & Co., Ltd. in New York.

1923

Extended the patent term for manufacturing seasoning (monosodium glutamate) for 6 years.

The Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed Head office and Kawasaki factory.

1926

Established The Larrowe Suzuki Company in the U.S. (dissolved in 1936).

1927

  • Opened Singapore sales office (closed in 1938).
  • Opened Hong Kong sales office (closed in 1937).

1928

Established Showa Hiryo Co. Inc. (the present Showa Denko K.K. ).

1929

Opened Taipei sales office (closed in 1945).

1931

  • Cut price five times in 6 years.
  • Opened Seoul sales office (closed in 1943).
  • Opened Dalian sales office (closed in 1945).

1932

Changed company name to Ajinomoto Honpo S. Suzuki & Co., Ltd.

1933

  • Opened Harbin (China) sales office (closed in 1942).
  • Opened Shenyang (China) sales office (closed in 1943).

1933

  • Opened Tianjin (China) sales office (closed in 1945).
  • Established Showa Brewery Co. Ltd. (the present Mercian Corporation).

1935

  • Established Tianjin (China) Kogyo Co. (taken over in 1945).
  • Established Takara Oil Refining Co., Ltd.
  • Established Takara Seiyaku Co. (the present AJINOMOTO HEALTHY SUPPLY, INC.).

1939

  • Established Yokohama factory (the present J-OIL MILLS, INC. Yokohama factory).
  • Established Manchuria Nosan Kagaku Kogyo Co. in Tianjin, China (taken over in 1945).
  • Established Shanghai Ajinomoto Co. in China (sold in 1945).

1940

Changed company name to Suzuki Shokuryo Kogyo Co.

1941

  • Changed company name to Dai-Nippon Chemical Co.
  • Established Saga factory.

1946

Changed company name to Ajinomoto Co., Inc.

1949

Became a publicly-quoted company.

1950

Started to sell AJI-NO-MOTO in Japan without control.

1951

Reopened Los Angels sales office.

1954

Opened Sao Paulo, Paris, Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong sales offices.

1956

  • Launched Crystal of Essential Amino Acids (ingredients of infusion).
  • Established Ajinomoto Co. of New York, Inc. (the present Ajinomoto U.S.A., Inc.).
  • Established Ajinomoto do Brasil Industria e Comercio (the present Ajinomoto Interamericana Indutria e Comercio Ltda.).
  • Established Central Research Laboratories in Kawasaki.

1958

  • Established Nippon Consomme Co., Ltd. (the present Knorr Foods Co., Ltd. ).
  • Established Union Chemicals Inc. in the Philippines (the present AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION).

1960

  • Established Ajinomoto Co., (Thailand) Ltd.
  • Launched Aji-Shio.

1961

  • Established Nippon Amino Shiryo Co., Ltd. (the present Itochu Feed Mills Co., Ltd.).
  • Established Yokkaichi factory.
  • Established Ajinomoto (Malaya) Co., Ltd. (the present Ajinomoto (Malaysia) Berhad).
  • Established Deutche Ajinomoto GmbH.

1962

Launched Umami Dashi Hi-Me.

1963

  • Launched Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in alliance with Kellogg Co.
  • Established Ajinomoto-INSUD S.p.A. in Italy (dissolved in 1977).

1964

Launched Knorr Soup in alliance with CPC.

1965

Launched feed-use Lysine.

1968

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  • Established Toyo Oil Mills Co., Inc. (the present J-OIL MILLS, INC. Chiba factory).
  • Established Ajinomoto del Peru S.A.
  • Launched mayonnaise in alliance with CPC.

1969

  • Established PT Ajinomoto Indonesia.
  • Dr. Olney report introduced.

1970

Launched Hon-Dashi.

1972

  • Took a stake in Myojo Alimentos Ltda. (the present Nissin-Ajinomoto Alimentos Ltda.).
  • Launched Ajinomoto KK Frozen Foods.
  • Launched surfactant Amisoft.

1973

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1973

  • Established Ajinomoto (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
  • Launched Ajinomoto General Foods products in alliance with General Foods Corp.
  • Launched Knorr Cup Soup.
  • Took a stake in Wan Thai Foods Industry Co., Ltd. (instant noodle).

1974

Established Eurolysine S.A. (the present AJINOMOTO EUROLYSINE S.A.S.) in France.

1975

Launched AGF Maxim coffee.

 

1977

Launched Ajinomoto KK Chuka-Aji.

1978

Launched menu-specific seasonings Cook Do.

1979

  • Launched Argin-Z beverage.
  • Launched ROSDEE in Thailand.

1980

Launched DANONE products in alliance with Cie GERVAIS DANONE.

 

1981

Launched ELENTAL (elemental diet).

1982

Started to export aspartame to U.S.

1983

Established NutraSweet AG (the present Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe S.A.S.) in Swiss.

1984

  • Launched PAL SWEET (sweetener).
  • Established Heartland Lysine, Inc. (the present Ajinomoto Heartland LLC) in the U.S.

1986

Launched Lentinan (anti-cancer drug).

1987

  • Established PT Ajinex International in Indonesia.
  • Established Kashima factory (closed in 2002).

1988

  • Launched Sazon in Brazil.
  • Launched Seto no Honjio.

1989

  • Established Ajinomoto Foundation for Dietary Culture.
  • Acquired S.A. OmniChem N.V. (the present S.A. Ajinomoto OmniChem N.V.).

1990

  • Established Ajinomoto System Techno Corporation.
  • Established Ajinomoto Frozen Foods (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
  • Alliance with Calpis Food Industry Co., Ltd. (the present Calpis Co., Ltd.).

1991

  • Established B&W Vietnam Co., Ltd. (the present Ajinomoto Vietnam Co., Ltd.).
  • Established West African Seasoning Co., Ltd. in Nigeria.
  • Established Euro-Aspartame S.A. (the present Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe S.A.S.) in France.

1992

Launched enzyme ACTIVA.

1993

Launched Birdy canned coffee in Thailand.

1994

  • Established PT Ajinomoto Calpis Beverage Indonesia.
  • Established CHUANHUA AJINOMOTO CO., LTD. in China.

1995

  • Launched amino VITAL Pro.
  • Established Ajinomoto Betagro Frozen Foods Co., Ltd. in Thailand.
  • Established Lianyungang Ajinomoto Ruyi Foods Co., Ltd. in China.

1996

Established Ajinomoto (China) Co., Ltd.

1997

  • Launched Jino series of cosmetics.
  • Established Ajinomoto Lianhua Amino Acid Co., Ltd.
  • (the present HENAN AJINOMOTO AMINO ACID CO., LTD.) in China.
  • ASQUA (Ajinomoto System of Quality Assurance) became effective.

1998

Established ZAO “AJINOMOTO-GENETIKA Research Institute” in Russia.

1999

  • Introduced corporate logo.
  • Established Ajinomoto Communications Inc.
  • Established Ajinomoto Pharmaceuticals Europe Ltd.
  • Established Ajinomoto Poland Sp. zoo.
  • Established Ajinomoto Pharma Co., Ltd.

2000

  • AGP (Ajinomoto Group Principles) became effective.
  • Established Ajinomoto Frozen Foods Co., Ltd.
  • Established Lianyungang Ajinomoto Frozen Foods Co., Ltd. in China.

2001

Established SHANGHAI HOUSE AJINOMOTO FOODS CO., LTD.

2002

Established Shanghai Ajinomoto Seasoning Co., Ltd.

2003

  • Took a stake in Gaban Asaoka Co., Ltd. (the present Gaban Co., Ltd.).
  • AJINOMOTO soccer Stadium opened in Tokyo.
  • Established J-OIL MILLS, INC.
  • Established AJINOMOTO INDIA PVT. Ltd.
  • Established AJINOMOTO FOODS EUROPE S.A.S. in France.

2004

ajino-2004.jpg

  • Established SHANGHAI HOUSE FOODS CO., LTD.
  • Established Xiamen Ajinomoto Life Ideal Foods Co., Ltd.
  • Established OOO “AJINOMOTO” in Russia.
  • Established Ajinomoto Group Training Center in Japan.

2005

Established Ajinomoto Medica Co., Ltd.

2006

Acquired Amoy Food Group companies from Groupe Danone.

2007

Alliance with YAMAKI Co., Ltd.

2008

Established Food Development & Technology Center.

Opened Ajinomoto National Training Center in Tokyo. Agreed on the acquisition of the naming rights with the Japanese Olympic Committee.

2010

  • Introduced the slogan, “Eat Well, Live Well.”
  • Established Ajinomoto Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.

2011

  • Established Ajinomoto Istanbul Food Sales Ltd.
  • Established Ajinomoto Bangladesh Ltd.
  • Established Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition Group, Inc.
  • Established Ajinomoto Foods Egypt S.A.E.
  • Established AJINOMOTO AFRIQUE DE L’OUEST S.A. (Côte d’Ivoire, December).

2012

  • Started supporting 6 new projects in Cambodia, etc. through the AIN (the Ajinomoto International Cooperation Network for Nutrition and Health) Program.
  • Promoted the “Health/Nutrition Seminars” that support “healthy mind and body” as part of the support for the Great East Japan Earthquake and held 234 seminars total. Continuing the efforts in 2013.
  • Launched Ajinomoto KK “Nabe Cube” (August).
  • Established Ajinomoto Genexine Co., Ltd. in Korea (manufacturing/sales of culture media for animal cells) (November).

2013

AJINOMOTO AFRIQUE DE L'OUEST S.A. established a factory for packaging AJI-NO-MOTO in Côte d'Ivoire (April)

Ajinomoto Co., (Thailand) Ltd. established a new factory for the production of AJI-NO-MOTO in Ayutthaya Province (July)

Launched Amino Aile, a fundamental food product, that helps senior citizens have a longer and healthier life (November)

2014

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Succeeded in the joint development of StemFit® AK03, an iPS/ES cell culture medium, with the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University (February)

PT Lautan Ajinomoto Fine Ingredients (LAFI) began full-scale operation of a new plant that produces cosmetic ingredients (March)

Opened Lahore Office in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (July)

Ajinomoto Genexine Co., Ltd. (South Korea) began full-scale operation of its new plant that produces culture media for use in the manufacture of biotechnology-based medicine (October)

Ajinomoto North America, Inc. (AJINA) acquired Windsor Quality Holdings, LP, a US company that manufactures and sells frozen food (November)

2015

Agreed to Ajinomoto Co.'s acquisition of all shares of Ajinomoto General Foods, Inc. held by Mondelēz for JPY 27.0 billion and concluded a share purchase and sale agreement (February)

Restructured the organization in North America by establishing holding company Ajinomoto North America Holdings, Inc. and integrating the frozen foods and consumer foods businesses into Ajinomoto Windsor, Inc. (AWI) (April)

Formed an alliance with T.HASEGAWA CO., LTD. in the fermentation-derived natural flavors business with the aim to launch fermentation-derived natural flavors and develop the business globally within the next several years (August)

2016

Signed an agreement to serve as an Official Partner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games (March)
(Category: Cooking Condiments, Dehydrated Soup, Amino Acid Based Granules and Prepared Frozen Foods) 

Established gastrointestinal specialty pharma EA Pharma Co., Ltd. by integrating the gastrointestinal disease business of Eisai Co., Ltd. into AJINOMOTO PHARMACEUTICALS CO., LTD. (March)

Provided products such as Ajinomoto KK Okayu, AGF Blendy bottled coffee and Amino VITAL® jelly, and donated JPY 24 million toward Kumamoto Earthquake Disaster (April)

Began sales of StemFit®, an iPS/ES cell culture medium for clinical research in the world's highest safety and performance class, in Japan in August and globally in September

Established Ajinomoto Mirai Co., Ltd., a new company to promote employment of disabled people (November): Started operation in April 2017. Promoting diversity by expanding opportunities for disabled people

Acquired a 33.33% stake in Promasidor Holdings Limited for approximately JPY 55.8 billion (November): Aimed at becoming a leading player in the African Food Market together with Promasidor Holdings Limited

2017

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Launched Mai Asa Histidine®: For reducing fatigue and a clearer head! Supports brain fatigue care (Foods with Function Claims) (January, via its own mail-order service) (January)