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How Kikkoman’s Brand Power Can Build Your Business

A new study shows restaurant patrons care about soy sauce, and the brand they prefer is Kikkoman. Here’s how to put that brand loyalty to work for you.

Do consumers care about ingredient brands when they dine out? You know they do, especially when those brands are familiar to them from the retail shelf. And especially when they’re customer-facing condiments, like ketchup, mustard, or soy sauce.

When you offer favorite consumer brands in your operation, you send the message that you care about quality and giving customers options they love. Great brands can enhance your brand’s image, and that can be a serious business builder.

We wanted to find out just how much consumers care about soy sauce when dining away from home, and how much soy sauce brands matter to them. So, in April 2023, we conducted a national survey[1] to explore the soy sauce preferences of restaurant patrons. What we learned is that this unique ingredient and condiment holds a surprisingly large place in their hearts and minds—and on their palates.

Here are the key takeaways:


Restaurant customers know all soy sauces are not alike.

In fact, 63% of restaurant patrons surveyed reported that they can taste the difference between their preferred soy sauce brand and other brands. And over half (58%) of restaurant patrons surveyed believe that the brand of soy sauce is important when dining out.

Kikkoman is the brand they prefer—at home and away from home.

Kikkoman is America’s #1 Soy Sauce*[2] at retail. And that helps explain why 76% of restaurant patrons surveyed identify Kikkoman®️ Soy Sauce as a premium product and 87% of patrons who are familiar with Kikkoman rate the brand as being high quality. And it’s not just a question of brand preference. 67% of restaurant patrons surveyed agree Kikkoman®️ Soy Sauce tastes better than other soy sauces.

How the Kikkoman brand can enhance your image.

Can a soy sauce brand actually affect how people feel about an operation? It can if it’s Kikkoman. 63% of restaurant patrons surveyed say they love restaurants that use Kikkoman® Soy Sauce. And more than half (54%) prefer restaurants that use Kikkoman.

Leveraging the love: How to put the brand power of Kikkoman to work for you.

1. Use it back-of-house to add flavor and umami.

For 50 years, Kikkoman® Soy Sauce has been traditionally brewed and aged in the USA from North American ingredients: water, soybeans, wheat, and salt. Its complex, mellow flavor complements and enhances all kinds of foods—Asian and beyond—in a way that non-brewed and lower-quality soy sauces can’t. That’s what makes Kikkoman one of the most versatile umami boosters in the business. Use it across the menu to add savory appeal to sauces, marinades, dressings, soups, salads, braises, and more.

2. Offer it front-of-house.

On the tabletop or at the condiment station, the convenient, refillable teardrop shaped Kikkoman dispenser shows patrons you care enough to serve the brand they love. Offer both the red-capped Kikkoman® Soy Sauce dispenser and the green-capped Less Sodium Soy Sauce dispenser to give patrons two great options for adding the flavor they love.

3. Add it to your takeout program.

Kikkoman® Soy Sauce, Less Sodium Soy Sauce, and Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce packets add a premium finish to your takeout offerings. Don’t compromise your image—or the flavor of your food—with lower-quality brands when you can count on Kikkoman packets to deliver the soy sauce flavor your customers prefer.

The Kikkoman difference.

Here’s the bottom line. This research confirms that not all soy sauces are created equal and your customers can tell the difference. Used as an ingredient or a condiment, for here or to-go, Kikkoman, America’s #1 Soy Sauce, is the smart choice for foodservice, because it delivers outstanding flavor, consistent quality, rich umami, and something no other soy sauce can deliver: unmatched consumer brand loyalty and love.

[1] From April 11-21, 2023, Kikkoman conducted an online survey among 1,000 soy sauce consumers who were aware of either Kikkoman or other leading soy sauce brands and who have dined out or ordered from an Asian restaurant in the past month. The margin of error is +/-3%.

[2] Based on U.S. sales data during the 52-week period ending 8/12/23.

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