Kikkoman’s Global R&D Outlook
Kikkoman has established R&D facilities in four regions worldwide: Japan, the United States, Asia and the European Union.
The company’s R&D Headquarters are located in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, where the head office is situated. Kikkoman’s R&D Headquarters function as its core R&D center and handle ongoing and responsive research geared specifically to the Japanese domestic market.
Kikkoman’s first overseas research institute was the Kikkoman Singapore R&D Laboratory Pte. Ltd., established in 2005 within the Chemistry Department of the Science Faculty of the National University of Singapore (NUS).
In the E.U., the company established Kikkoman Europe R&D Laboratory B.V. in 2007, located in Wageningen, the Netherlands. As of 2008, Kikkoman’s most recently established R&D facility is its Kikkoman USA R&D Laboratory, Inc., located in Madison, Wisconsin.
Soy sauce is a unique and versatile seasoning. Its attractive reddish amber hue is believed to arouse the appetite; and it satisfies that appetite with its harmonious flavor combination of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. The appealing and complex scent distinctive to soy sauce comprises some 300 aroma components. In cooking or as a condiment, soy sauce has the effect of eliminating strong odors of certain food ingredients while enhancing the flavor unique to each of those ingredients.
Kikkoman’s R&D activities focus on effectively applying these special soy sauce characteristics in order that they may complement the distinctive foods and cuisines of different regions around the world. The company also conducts sales promotion activities that specifically target regional lifestyles in order to create a role for soy sauce products in the dietary lives of local food cultures.
Some successful examples of these include Kikkoman’s Teriyaki Sauce in the U.S., as well as its special soy sauce blended with Chinese herbal medicine in Asia. More recently, the company introduced a soy sauce into the E.U. market intended to be sprinkled over steamed rice.
Kikkoman continues to integrate global business sense with local food cultures, and remains committed to in-depth and culturally aware research and development at its four R&D facilities.
Kikkoman Responds to Local Food Cultures
- Teriyaki Sauce (U.S. market)
During the 1960s, inspired by the way people marinate and then grill meat, fish and other foods in soy sauce, Kikkoman developed its Teriyaki Sauce for easier and tastier cooking. Since this sauce was released, it has been widely used in households throughout the U.S.; several variations of this product are currently on the market.
- Herbal Soy Sauce (Asian market)
In 2007, Kikkoman Trading Asia Pte. Ltd. (KTA) released a new type of soy sauce blended with Chinese herbal medicine. This unprecedented product line superbly blends and balances Chinese herbal medicine with soy sauce. Food flavor is enhanced thanks to the complex aroma of Chinese herbal medicine and the scent and umami of soy sauce.
- Sauce Soja Sucrée (E.U. market)
In 2007, Kikkoman Trading Europe GmbH (KTE) released Sauce Soja Sucrée into the E.U. market. This product was inspired by a soy sauce-based sweet sauce used at a Japanese restaurant in France as a condiment to be sprinkled over steamed rice, accompanied by grilled chicken and other dishes.