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Kikkoman Starts Work on Huge $800 Million Soy Sauce Empire Expansion in Wisconsin

The state-of-the-art food manufacturing plant will grow the company's Midwestern footprint.

A rendering of the new Kikkoman Foods manufacturing facility in Jefferson, Wisconsin.
A rendering of the new Kikkoman Foods manufacturing facility in Jefferson, Wisconsin.
CRB

Kikkoman, the top manufacturer of traditionally brewed soy sauce, has been an important part of the Wisconsin economy for more than 50 years. Last year, the state recognized "Kikkoman Day" to mark the golden anniversary of the company's plant in Walworth, Wisconsin. In 1973, the company turned a few farm fields into the highest-producing soy sauce facility in the Western world.

Yesterday, the company started a new chapter in its history at a groundbreaking ceremony for a major new production facility in Jefferson, a rural Wisconsin community about 40 minutes east of the state's capital.

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    Kikkoman will invest at least $800 million in the new facility, as well as expansion initiatives at its Walworth plant. The company will use some $560 million to build the new factory in Jefferson, and add a $250 million investment to expand the Walworth plant. Together, the projects will create 83 new jobs over 12 years.

    The new factory will make soy sauce and related seasonings, including teriyaki sauce. The first shipments are scheduled for Fall 2026.

    Following a nationwide search of some 64 midwestern locations, Kikkoman returned to Wisconsin, selecting a 100-acre lot at the heart of the 200-acre Food and Beverage Innovation Campus. The new 240,000-square-foot Kikkoman Foods, Inc. (KFI) Jefferson facility will be a state-of-the-art operation that is fully integrated and highly automated using the latest mobile technology.

    The factory was designed for flexibility, speed, efficiency, and scalability, with the ability to make smaller or larger batch sizes as needed. The facility will also reduce CO2 emissions by installing energy-efficient equipment, minimizing waste, and proactively using renewable energy.

    Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers confirmed up to $15.5 million in performance-based tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) at the groundbreaking, which included massive Japanese taiko drums and a traditional Shinto ceremony.

    KFI selected consulting firm CRB to perform engineering, procurement and construction services (EPC) for the new production facility in Jefferson. CRB provides the global life sciences and food and beverage industries with sustainable engineering, architecture, construction and other solutions.

    Over the past 50 years in the state, Kikkoman has contributed more than $17 million to charitable causes in the local community.

    From left: Jefferson Mayor Dale Oppermann; Jefferson County Administrator Ben Wehmeier; Secretary Missy Hughes, CEO, WEDC; Former Governor of Wisconsin Tommy Thompson; Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers; Yuzaburo Mogi, Kikkoman Chairman of the Board; Jun Yanagi, Consult General of Japan in Chicago; Noriaki Horikiri, Chairman of Kikkoman Corporation; Osamu Mogi, Representative Director, Senior Executive.From left: Jefferson Mayor Dale Oppermann; Jefferson County Administrator Ben Wehmeier; Secretary Missy Hughes, CEO, WEDC; Former Governor of Wisconsin Tommy Thompson; Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers; Yuzaburo Mogi, Kikkoman Chairman of the Board; Jun Yanagi, Consult General of Japan in Chicago; Noriaki Horikiri, Chairman of Kikkoman Corporation; Osamu Mogi, Representative Director, Senior Executive.Kikkoman

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