Japanese soy sauce giant Kikkoman is to forge ahead with plans to expand in the US with the announcement this week that it has earmarked $100-million (approx. €86m) for the expansion of its plant in Walworth County in Wisconsin.
Speaking at a conference last week on how to revitalise the US and Japanese economies, Yuzaburo Mogi, president and chief executive officer of Kikkoman, said the expansion of Kikkoman Foods' Walworth County headquarters will take place over 10 years, with $13 million of the total coming in the first year.
Kikkoman, the world's largest producer of soy sauce products with international sales of nearly $2 billion, has steadily expanded the size and production of its US headquarters since it first opened in 1973.
The Walworth plant, that originally produced 2.4 million gallons of soy sauce and related products annually, currently produces 25 million gallons each year. When the project is completed, production at the Wisconsin plant is set to rise to 34 million gallons.
While the primary market for the plant's products is the US, Kikkoman Foods also serves the Canadian and Latin American markets. Since 1998, Kikkoman Foods has operated a smaller plant in Folsum, California, but the Walworth plant remains the headquarters for US manufacturing operations.
Ryozo Kato, Japanese ambassador to the US, and Tommy G. Thompson, US Secretary of Health and Human Services also spoke at the conference organised by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Business Administration and Kikkoman Foods.