• Discover our group

    History and values

    The Ajinomoto group is the leader on frozen foods in Japan and the most sought-after Asian brand in the world.

Ajinomoto history

In 1907, Dr Kikunae Ikeda, a chemist, started to develop the UMAMI taste from Konbu seaweed, and acquired a patent for manufacturing it a year later. Mr Saburosuke Suzuki II acquired a joint share of the above-mentioned patent with Dr Ikeda and set up Suzuki Seiyakusho Co. (whose name was changed into Ajinomoto Co. Inc. in 1946) in order to market "Umami" in 1909.

It was an instant success. Ajinomoto Co. Inc. won a bronze medal at the first Japanese Invention Exhibition held in the same year. 106 years later, the company has kept the open-mindedness that presided over its creation and broadened the scope of its activities (towards scientific research and pharmaceuticals health in particular).

Dr Kikunae Ikeda


As a seminal figure in the history of Japanese cuisine, the Group promotes its values all through the country and built a dedicated structure in Tokyo (in 2004). This structure oversees the Ajinomoto® Foundation for Dietary Culture and the Ajinomoto® Corporate Museum. In order to foster health, the Ajinomoto Group daily implements a thorough social and environment policy.

The Ajinomoto group's key figures

Since 1909

Our company was founded 106 years ago with the discovery of "umami". The founder's original aspiration, consisting of a "frontier spirit" and the "creation of new values", is still at the core of Ajinomoto's activities and preoccupations.

31 300 People

Spread over 26 countries and areas around the world, the various employees of the Ajinomoto Group develop the business stemming from each local culture.

130 Countries

Ajinomoto® was exported to Taiwan in 1910, which is the next year of the company's founding. The New York office was established in 1917. The number of countries and areas selling Ajinomoto Group products now exceeds 130.

128 Plants

The Kawasaki Plant, which is the mother plant, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014. We are now developing plants in 21 countries and areas around the world, delivering safe and reliable products to customers throughout the world.

1006 Billions Yen (sales amount)

We offer seasonings, processed foods, beverages, pharmaceutical products, amino acids, specialty chemicals and other various products to the world.

1700 People

The number of R&D workers of the Ajinomoto Group, which was approximately 100 in 1956, has highly increased with the growth of the business. This is why the Ajinomoto Group is said to be an unrivalled food company driven by technology

Enter Ajinomoto Brand's world

  • We create better lives globally by contributing to significant advances in Food and Health and by working for Life.
    The Ajinomoto Group Way is based on 4 key ideas: create new value / display pioneer spirit / social contribution / value people.
    • Create value with new ideas and continuous innovation based on unique technologies and science.
    • Continue to constantly take on the challenge of creating new businesses and markets.
    • Accommodate social requirements with humility and honesty, with the objective of maximizing value for society through business activities.
    • Respect the humanity of all the people involved in the Ajinomoto Group’s businesses, and be an organization in which they can grow and display their abilities to the fullest extent.
  • "To create good, affordable seasonings, and turn simple but nutritious fare into delicacies."
    Dr Kikunae Ikeda, My motivation for inventing Ajinomoto®

    Within a century, the company has broadened the scope of its activities and diversified (towards scientific research and pharmaceuticals health in particular), but remains deeply committed to its lifetime motto - eat well, live well. In keeping with this original ideal, we continue to create products of scientifically proven benefit in the interest of people’s health.

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