A Timeline of Our History



1907

Kikunae Ikeda
  • Dr. Kikunae Ikeda, a chemist, started to develop umami taste from Konbu seaweed.

  • Mr. Saburosuke Suzuki II established Suzuki Seiyakusho Co.


1908

Left: Patent for manufacturing seasoning (monosodium glutamate)
Right: Registered trademark of Lady & AJI-NO-MOTO
  • 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

Left: Head office of Ajinomoto Honpo
Right: AJI-NO-MOTO, as of launched
  • 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

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


1914

Kawasakifactory
  • 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

Makeshift head office opened after the Great Kanto Earthquake
  • 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

Seoul sales office
  • 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).


1934

Tianjin (China) sales office
  • 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

Manchuria Nosan Kagaku Kogyo Co.
  • 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.


1943

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

  • Established Saga factory.


1946

  • Changed company name to Ajinomoto Co., Inc.


1947

Resumption of export AJI-NO-MOTO

1949

  • Became a publicly-quoted company.


1950


1951

  • Reopened Los Angels sales office.


1954

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


1956

Central Research Laboratories
  • 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

Left: The original premises of Nippon Consomme Co., Ltd.
Right: The initial premises of Union Chemicals Inc.
  • Established Nippon Consomme Co., Ltd.
    (the present Knorr Foods Co., Ltd. ).

  • Established Union Chemicals Inc. in the Philippines (the present AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION).


1960

Left: The first factory of Ajinomoto Co., (Thailand) Ltd.
Right: The original package of Aji-Shio
  • Established Ajinomoto Co., (Thailand) Ltd.

  • Launched Aji-Shio.


1961

Left: The initial premises of Yokkaichi factory
Right: The first factory of Ajinomoto (Malaya) Co., Ltd.
  • 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

The initial package of Umami Dashi Hi-Me
  • Launched Umami Dashi Hi-Me.


1963

Left: The original package of Kellogg's Corn Flakes
Right: The initial factory of Ajinomoto-INSUD S.p.A.
  • Launched Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in alliance with Kellogg Co.

  • Established Ajinomoto-INSUD S.p.A. in Italy (dissolved in 1977).


1964

The original package of Knorr Soup
  • Launched Knorr Soup in alliance with CPC.


1965

  • Launched feed-use Lysine.


1968

Top: Toyo Oil Mills Co., Inc.
Bottom Left: The first factory of Ajinomoto del Peru S.A.
Bottom Right: The original package of AJI-NO-MOTO mayonnaise
  • 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

The initial premises of PT Ajinomoto Indonesia.
  • Established PT Ajinomoto Indonesia.

  • Dr. Olney report introduced.


1970

The original package of Hon-Dashi
  • Launched Hon-Dashi.


1972

Left: The initial package of Ajinomoto KK frozen Gyoza
Right: Surfactant Amisoft
  • Took a stake in Myojo Alimentos Ltda. (the present Nissin-Ajinomoto Alimentos Ltda.).

  • Launched Ajinomoto KK Frozen Foods.

  • Launched surfactant Amisoft.


1973

Top Left: The original package of MAXWELL coffee
Top Right: The first package of Knorr Cup Soup
Bottom: Thai YumYum, a product of Wan Thai Foods Industry Co., Ltd.
  • 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

The initial package of Ajinomoto KK Chuka-Aji
  • Launched Ajinomoto KK Chuka-Aji.


1978

The original package of Cook Do
  • Launched menu-specific seasonings Cook Do.


1979

Left: The initial package of Argin-Z
Right: ROSDEE (chicken flavor)
  • Launched Argin-Z beverage.

  • Launched ROSDEE in Thailand.


1980

Launched DANONE products in alliance with Cie GERVAIS DANONE.
  • Launched DANONE products in alliance with Cie GERVAIS DANONE.


1981

ELENTAL
  • 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

DANONE Fresh Cheese
  • Launched PAL SWEET (sweetener).

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


1986

  • Launched Lentinan (anti-cancer drug).


1987

The factory of PT Ajinex International
  • 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

Left: Ajinomoto Frozen Foods (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Right: CALPIS Water
  • Established Ajinomoto System Techno Corporation.

  • Established Ajinomoto Frozen Foods (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

  • Allied with Calpis Food Industry Co., Ltd. (the present Calpis Co., Ltd.) and became its sole distributor (October)


1991

The initial premises of B&W Vietnam Co., Ltd.
  • 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

Birdy canned coffee
  • Launched Birdy canned coffee in Thailand.


1994

CHUANHUA AJINOMOTO CO., LTD.
  • Established CHUANHUA AJINOMOTO CO., LTD. in China.


1995

The original package of amino VITAL
  • 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

The initial package of Jino series of cosmetics
  • 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

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


1999

Top: Corporate logo introduced in 1999
Bottom: Ajinomoto Poland Sp. zoo.
  • 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

Retort curry WEIDUDU
  • Established SHANGHAI HOUSE AJINOMOTO FOODS CO., LTD.


2002

  • Established Shanghai Ajinomoto Seasoning Co., Ltd.


2003

AJINOMOTO FOODS EUROPE S.A.S.
  • 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

Left: The factory of SHANGHAI HOUSE FOODS CO., LTD
Right: The initial premises of OOO "AJINOMOTO"
  • 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.


2009

Ajinomoto National Training 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

Nabe Cube
  • 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).

  • Dissolved partnership with Calpis Co., Ltd. by selling all outstanding shares (October)

  • Established Ajinomoto Genexine Co., Ltd. in Korea (manufacturing/sales of culture media for animal cells) (November).


2013

Amino Aile
  • 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

Left: StemFit® AK03
Right: Ajinomoto Genexine Co., Ltd.
  • 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

Mai Asa Histidine®
  • 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)