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Kibun History

Kibun Group Historical Summary

1930~
131938
Founding of Kibun

Kunihito Hoashi left snowy Yamagata for Tokyo with the goal of becoming a top trader. He opened Yamagataya Rice Shop at Hacchobori on his 25th birthday. He then established a base at the fish market and began seafood wholesale. By an unusual twist of fate he came to learn about surimi-based products, which has been a traditional food of Japan since the ancient days. He started producing kamaboko, with the goal of becoming Japan's No.1 kamaboko maker. This laid out the foundation for today's Kibun.

Kibun founder Kunihito Hoashi

Kibun founder Kunihito Hoashi

1940~
151940

Kinokuniya Fruit Shop opens outside the Tsukiji Wholesale Fish Market. The name is later changed to Kibun.

161941

Kibun starts selling marine products as a wholesaler.

211946
Symbol of an innovative spirit = Moto Guzzi

In 1946, 10kg of rice cost 20 yen, the starting salary of government workers was 540 yen, and people relied for transportation on bicycle taxis and charcoal-powered automobiles that discharged black smoke. Ln the same year, Kibun spent 30,000 yen purchasing a Moto Guzzi, one of the best motorcycles of Italy. The Guzzi drove to Urayasu and Kujukuri beach every day at dawn when it was still dark, to purchase produce. The energetic motorcycle gathered attention along with the fresh seafood lined up at the Kibun shop, and Kibun slowly but surely established a reputation. The innovative spirit and mobile power are still very much part of Kibun and its employees today.

Kibun's Moto Guzzi, still carefully preserved today

Kibun's Moto Guzzi, still carefully preserved today

221947

Kibun starts producing processed fish products.

241949

Age-ball(fried fish ball) is launched.

Kibun-Tsumire is launched.

Age-ball,Kibun-Tsumire
1950~
251950
Drive to make rapid progress = First foray from Tsukiji into a department store

In 1950, department store Ginza Matsuzakaya asked us to open a shop on its sales floor. It was the first time that a retailer at Tsukiji was asked to open a shop at a department store. The person in charge of food at Matsuzakaya walked around the fish market in search of tasty, high-quality surimi-based products, tasted some of them, sought opinions from trusted sources and then decided to ask Kibun to open a store at the department store. This was the first advance into a department store by Kibun, and it served as the catalyst for the rapid advances it made in subsequent years.

Kibun opened company shops one after the other on well-known shopping streets anchored by department stores around the country

Kibun opened company shops one after the other on well-known shopping streets anchored by department stores around the country

251950

Hanpen is launched.

Hanpen
261951
Industry-leading advertising strategy = Telephone pole ads

In 1951, our advertisements could be found on electricity poles in the Sangenjaya district of Setagaya, Tokyo. The advertisements featured black writing, indicating "Kibun" against a yellow background. Kibun continued to post advertisements on available electricity poles. lt was a unique strategy that no one else in the industry was trying. Along with yellow bicycles that ran along the main streets, our advertisements swept across towns. And the name Kibun gradually became known among the public.

A Kibun signboard hanging on a telephone pole on Showa Street and a Kibun delivery bicycle in the foreground

A Kibun signboard hanging on a telephone pole on Showa Street and a Kibun delivery bicycle in the foreground

261951

Ingredients for oden are branded with the Company's name.

Ingredients for oden are branded with the Company's name
301955

Kibun starts selling packaged satsuma-age.

301955
Taking the lead on food safety = Product packaging and white sanitary gowns

In 1953 and 1954, Kibun pioneered new packaging for satsuma-age, kamaboko, and other products designed to bolster production efficiency and hygiene. Meanwhile, the uniforms of the day were mostly black or gray, which did not properly reveal stains. Kibun workers started wearing white uniforms at factories. The uniforms were to be washed if they became soiled. This was an approach that emphasized hygiene.

Product packaging that led the industry

Product packaging that led the industry

311956

Kibun develops production of shiokara.(Shiokara is a food made from salted and fermented fish entrails.)

shiokara
341959

Kibun is commissioned to prepare special dishes for the wedding ceremony of the Crown Prince, the current Emperor Emeritus. Thereafter, Kibun becomes a purveyor to the Imperial Household Agency.

341959

Kibun starts installing automatic packaging machines.

341959

Grilled Chikuwa is launched.

Grilled Chikuwa
1960~
381963

Kibun completes the Yokohama Factory, a fully automated plant that breaks new ground in the industry.

391964

Kibun develops retort-pouch oden, a precursor of today's Oden Ichinin Mae.

retort-pouch oden
401965

Sales of New Year's osechi products start to take off around this time.

Goma-tofu is launched.

New Year's osechi products,Goma-tofu
411966

The design of Kibun products is standardized, and full-scale advertising is rolled out.

The design of Kibun products is standardized, and full-scale advertising
411966

Egg-tofu is launched.

Preparations for making Soup of Oden (Liquid type) is launched.

Egg-tofu
421967

Sasakama is launched.

Sasakama
1970~
451970

Construction of the Shizuoka Factory, an industry-standard model plant for Kibun, is completed.

The Shizuoka Factory
461971

Kibun receives an order to provide shisen-ryori (dishes for celebratory banquets) to the Imperial Household Agency.

471972

Hosho Shoji (now Kibun Trading Inc.) is established.
Kibun sets up base in Thailand.

A distribution center equipped with refrigerated distribution is completed at the Tokyo Ryutsu Center.

471972

Sozai Kamaboko (kamaboko as a side dish) is launched, which leads to the increasing popularity of kamaboko on dining tables. (This was the precursor of today's Iki: Kamaboko Containing Sea Bream.)

Preparations for making Soup of Oden(granule type) is launched.

Sozai Kamaboko,making Soup of Oden(granule type)
481973

The Kibun Foods Research Center is completed.

481973

Takebue (chikuwa) is launched.

Takebue
491974

Kibun Foods (U.S.A.), Inc. is established in Seattle.

501975

Kaiyo Foods, Inc. is established in Okinawa.

511976

Chikuwabu is launched.

Chikuwabu
521977

Kibun starts producing and marketing soy milk.
Kibun establishes a base in Singapore.

International Computer Systems Co., Ltd. (now Kibun Fresh Systems Co., Ltd.) is established.

521977

Soy milk is launched.

Soy milk
531978

The Funabashi Factory is completed.

The Funabashi Factory
541979

Unagiya is launched.

Unagiya
1980~
551980

Niku-gyoza is launched.

Niku-gyoza
571982

Kibun establishes a base in Hong Kong.

571982

New Year's Products of assortment 'OJUZUME' set is launched.

New Year's Products of assortment 'OJUZUME' set
591984

Kibun Fresh Supply Co., Ltd. (now Kibun Fresh System Inc.) is established.

591984

Chinese-style buns series is launched.

Chinese-style buns series
601985

Kibun introduces its corporate identity program.

601985

Uogashi-age is launched.

Uogashi-age
611986

Meat-wonton is launched.

Sakanayose, the precursor of products such as Nabedane, is launched.

Meat-wonton,akanayose, the precursor of products such as Nabedane
621987

Marine (Crab-Flavored Seafood) is launched.

Kibun-no-Kisetsu (assortment of Oden) is launched.

Marine,Kibun-no-Kisetsu
631988

Isokobachi (Noodles which is made from seaweed and konjac) is launched.

Isokobachi
1989

Hosonuki-tofu, the precursor of products such as Noodle-like tofu, is launched.

Paripari-Potato (This product is the cheese, corn and mashed potatoes fried wrapped in the skin of wheat.) is launched.

Hosonuki-tofu,Paripari-Potato
1990~
31991

Yasai-tempura (Satsuma-age containing vegetables) is launched.

Yasai-tempura
51993

A production base for Southeast Asia is completed in Thailand.

71995

The Eniwa Factory is completed.

The Eniwa Factory
81996

Chee-chiku is launched.

Salad-Shitaraba (Crab-Flavored Seafood) is launched.

Chee-chiku,Salad-Shitaraba
91997

The Tokyo Factory is completed as a supply base of East Japan.

Hokushoku Co., Ltd. joins the Kibun Group.

101998

Kamaboko in the shape of Hello Kitty is launched.

Kamaboko in the shape of Hello Kitty
101998

The Tokyo Factory is awarded certification as a seafood exporter to the United States and the European Union (EU).

Kibun (Thailand) Co., Ltd. receives HACCP certification.

111999

The Tokyo Factory receives HACCP certification (comprehensive sanitation management and production process) and ISO 9002 certification (switching to ISO 9001 in 2003).

2000~
122000

The Company's Headquarters and the Yokohama Factory receive ISO 9001 certification.

132001

Kuntama (smoked egg) is launched.

くんたま
132001

Kibun (Thailand) Co., Ltd. receives ISO 9002 certification (switching to ISO 9001 in 2008).

The Tokyo Factory receives ISO 14001 certification.

142002

A business tie-up is formed with Maruha Corp. (now Maruha Nichiro Holdings, Inc.).

152003

Soup-gyoza (Dumplings which boils in soup) is launched.

Preparations for making soymilk nabe is launched.

Soup-gyoza,making soymilk nabe
162004

Kireteru-Atsuyaki-Tamago(pre-cut Japanese omelet) is launched.

Hamburg made of bean curd and chicken is launched.

Kireteru-Atsuyaki-Tamago,Hamburg made of bean curd and chicken
162004

A capital and business tie-up is formed between Kikkoman Corp. and the Kibun Group.

172005

The Yokohama Factory receives HACCP certification.

Kaiyo Foods, Inc. receives ISO 9001 and HACCP certification.

172005

Sashimi of Yuba milk is launched.

Sashimi of Yuba milk
182006

The Shizuoka Factory receives HACCP certification.

192007

Tamanegi-tempura(Satsuma-age containing onions) is launched.

Nagoya-style assortment of Oden is launched.

Tamanegi-tempura,Nagoya-style assortment of Oden
192007

The Okayama Soja Factory is completed as a supply base for West Japan.

The Okayama Soja Factory
212009

Kibun begins launching Disney character-themed products.

Camembert filled Chee Chiku was selected as a Top 40 promising export food product by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.

Camembert filled Chee Chiku
212009

The Eniwa Factory and The Okayama Soja Factory receives HACCP certification.

2010~
222010

Salad de Noodle (Noodles made from soybean curd refuse), the precursor of Sugar-free Noodles, is launched.

Kibun develops a paper matt for rolling Date-maki for New Year's celebrations.

rolling Date-maki for New Year's celebrations
222010

The Okayama Soja Factory receives ISO 9001 certification, and the Funabashi Factory receives HACCP certification.

242012

Delicious up to the skin chikuwa is launched in Hokkaido.

Delicious up to the skin chikuwa
242012

Kibun establishes a base in Korea.

252013

Sugar-free Noodles is launched.

Sugar-free Noodles
262014

Soft & easy-to-eat Osechi is launched (currently known as easy-to-eat & gentle on the body Osechi).

Soft & easy-to-eat Osechi
262014

A business tie-up is formed with Kanetetsu Delica Foods Inc..

A switch is made from ISO 9001 to ISO 22000. The Eniwa Factory, Funabashi Factory, Yokohama Factory, Shizuoka Factory, and Okayama Soja Factory receive ISO 22000 certification.

272015

Low sodium surimi seafoods are launched.

Low sodium surimi seafoods
272015

A business tie-up is formed with Horikawa Co., Ltd.

Nishi Nihon Kibun Foods Inc. is established.

The Tokyo Factory receive FSSC 22000 certification.

282016

Sugar free Healthy Noodle is launched in North America.

Healthy Noodle
282016

The Okayama Soja Factory of Nishi Nihon Kibun Food is awarded certification as a seafood exporter to the EU.

Kibun Foods Safety Center Inc. is established.

292017

Cartoon character kamaboko made with our own forming method is launched.

Cartoon character kamaboko
292017

The Yokohama Factory is awarded certification as a seafood exporter to the EU.

The Kibun Food Safety Center Inc. has acquired ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 certification for microorganism testing.

302018

Seasonal Goma-tofu product line is launched.

Seasonal Goma-tofu
302018

Kibun establishes a base in The Netherlands.

312019

Wasabi Chee Chiku is launched.

Wasabi Chee Chiku
2019

Kibun establishes a base in China.

2020~
22020

Overseas expansion of Wasabi Chee Chiku is launched.

Overseas expansion of Wasabi Chee Chiku

※Product packaging may not be the one at the time of release or currently on sale.

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