Ajinomoto Group History

1907 Dr. Kikunae Ikeda, a chemist, started to develop UMAMI taste from Konbu seaweed.

Mr. Saburosuke Suzuki II established Suzuki Seiyakusho Co.

Kikunae Ikeda
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.

Patent for manufacturing seasoning (monosodium glutamate)

Registered trademark of Lady & AJI-NO-MOTO
1909 AJI-NO-MOTO won a bronze medal at the first Japanese Invention Exhibition.

Launched AJI-NO-MOTO in Japan on 20th May 1909.

Head office of Ajinomoto Honpo

AJI-NO-MOTO, as of launched
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.
Shintaro Kodama
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.

Makeshift head office opened after the Great Kanto Earthquake
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).

Seoul sales office
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 Opened Tianjin (China) sales office (closed in 1945).

Established Showa Brewery Co. Ltd. (the present Mercian Corporation).

Tianjin (China) sales office
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).

Manchuria Nosan Kagaku Kogyo Co.
1940 Changed company name to Suzuki Shokuryo Kogyo Co.
1943 Changed company name to Dai-Nippon Chemical Co.

Established Saga factory.

Saga factory
1946 Changed company name to Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
1947 Resumption of export AJI-NO-MOTO to the U.S.
Resumption of export AJI-NO-MOTO
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.

Central Research Laboratories
1958 Established Nippon Consomme Co., Ltd.
(the present Knorr Foods Co., Ltd. ).

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

The original premises of Nippon Consomme Co., Ltd.

The initial premises of Union Chemicals Inc.
1960 Established Ajinomoto Co., (Thailand) Ltd.

Launched Aji-Shio.

The first factory of Ajinomoto Co., (Thailand) Ltd.

The original package of 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.

The initial premises of Yokkaichi factory

The first factory of Ajinomoto (Malaya) Co., Ltd.
1962 Launched Umami Dashi Hi-Me.

The initial package of 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).

The original package of Kellogg's Corn Flakes

The initial factory of Ajinomoto-INSUD S.p.A.
1964 Launched Knorr Soup in alliance with CPC.

The original package of Knorr Soup
1965 Launched feed-use Lysine.
1968 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.

Toyo Oil Mills Co., Inc.

The first factory of Ajinomoto del Peru S.A.

The original package of AJI-NO-MOTO mayonnaise
1969 Established PT Ajinomoto Indonesia.

Dr. Olney report introduced.

The initial premises of PT Ajinomoto Indonesia.
1970 Launched Hon-Dashi.
The original package of Hon-Dashi
1972 Took a stake in Myojo Alimentos Ltda. (the present Nissin-Ajinomoto Alimentos Ltda.).

Launched Ajinomoto KK Frozen Foods.

Launched surfactant Amisoft.

The initial package of Ajinomoto KK frozen Gyoza

Surfactant Amisoft
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).

The original package of MAXWELL coffee

The first package of Knorr Cup Soup

Thai YumYum, a product of Wan Thai Foods Industry Co., Ltd.
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.
The initial package of Ajinomoto KK Chuka-Aji
1978 Launched menu-specific seasonings Cook Do.
The original package of Cook Do
1979 Launched Argin-Z beverage.

Launched ROSDEE in Thailand.

The initial package of Argin-Z

ROSDEE (chicken flavor)
1980 Launched DANONE products in alliance with Cie GERVAIS DANONE.
DANONE Fresh Cheese
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.

DANONE Fresh Cheese
1986 Launched Lentinan (anti-cancer drug).
1987 Established PT Ajinex International in Indonesia.

Established Kashima factory (closed in 2002).

The factory of PT Ajinex International
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.

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

Ajinomoto Frozen Foods (Thailand) 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.

The initial premises of B&W Vietnam Co., Ltd.
1992 Launched enzyme ACTIVA.
1993 Launched Birdy canned coffee in Thailand.
Birdy canned coffee
1994 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.

The original package of amino VITAL
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.

The initial package of Jino series of cosmetics
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.

Corporate logo introduced in 1999

Ajinomoto Poland Sp. zoo.
2000 AGP (Ajinomoto Group Principles) became effective.

Established Ajinomoto Frozen Foods Co., Ltd.

Established Lianyungang Ajinomoto Frozen Foods Co., Ltd. in China.
Retort curry WEIDUDU
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 FOODS EUROPE S.A.S. in France.


Established Xiamen Ajinomoto Life Ideal Foods Co., Ltd.

Established OOO "AJINOMOTO" in Russia.

Established Ajinomoto Group Training Center in Japan.


The initial premises of OOO "AJINOMOTO"
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 Opened Ajinomoto National Training Center in Tokyo. Agreed on the acquisition of the naming rights with the Japanese Olympic Committee.
Ajinomoto National Training Center
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).

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).

Nabe Cube
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)

Amino Aile
2014 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)

StemFit® AK03

Ajinomoto Genexine Co., Ltd.
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 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)

Mai Asa Histidine®