You know Wisconsin is famous for its cheese production. But did you know it’s also home to the largest soy sauce brewing facility in the western world?
This year, June 9 was declared Kikkoman Day in the state of Wisconsin, because on that day, 50 years ago, we opened Kikkoman Foods, Inc., our first U.S. Soy Sauce plant in the state—and the first major production facility built by a Japanese company in the United States.
Back in 1973, we chose the town of Walworth, Wisconsin as the ideal spot to build the plant because of its ready access to soybeans, wheat, and water – some of the key ingredients in our soy sauce.
To mark this golden anniversary, Kikkoman welcomed a who’s-who of dignitaries, business leaders, friends and partners from the U.S. and Japan for a gala celebration at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Guests were treated to a traditional sake cask-opening ceremony, a feast of Japanese and American flavors, the thrilling rhythms of taiko drummers, and a multimedia film experience bringing to life Kikkoman’s rich history and heritage in Japan and the U.S.
Wisconsin governor Tony Evers was on hand to officially proclaim June 9 Kikkoman Day in Wisconsin.
“We are proud to join Kikkoman Corporation in celebrating a half-century of business in the state,” he said. “From a deep commitment to promoting collaboration and understanding between our state and Japan to its countless contributions in support of charitable causes over the years, we thank Kikkoman Corporation for its impact on the state and wish them many more years of success in Wisconsin.”
Over the years, the Kikkoman Foods, Inc. Foundation has contributed more than $17 million to charitable causes in the local community and beyond.
In keeping with that tradition, at the gala celebration, Mr. Yuzabro Mogi, honorary chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Kikkoman Corporation, announced a special golden anniversary donation of $5 million to support sustainability research at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison and Milwaukee campuses—research that will help protect the natural resources that drew Kikkoman to the state half a century ago.
“We are pleased to invest in a state that has become a second home to our company,” said Mr. Mogi. “Through the donations to these two leading research programs, we’re providing meaningful benefit to the region, and the world, by helping to ensure the sustainability of agricultural systems and natural resources.”
“As we celebrate 50 years of brewing soy sauce in the United States,” Mr. Mogi added, “I want to express my profound gratitude for the people of Wisconsin. We’re looking forward to the next 50 years of friendship and continued growth in our pursuit to make Kikkoman Soy Sauce a truly global seasoning.”
So, the next time you think of Wisconsin, don’t just think about dairy. Think Soy Sauce. And think Kikkoman!