Kikkoman breaks ground on $560 million new Wisconsin production facility

Soy sauce manufacturer's expansion in Jefferson and Walworth Counties will create more than 80 new jobs
Kikkoman breaks ground on $560 million new Wisconsin production facility
Photo - Kikkoman

To the sound of massive Japanese taiko drums and a traditional Shinto ceremony, Kikkoman, the world's leading manufacturer of traditionally brewed soy sauce, ushered in a new chapter in the company's history at a groundbreaking ceremony for a major new production facility in the rural community of Jefferson, Wisconsin.

Kikkoman has played a vital role in the Wisconsin economy for more than half a century. In 1973 with the opening of Kikkoman Foods, Inc. (KFI), in Walworth, Wisconsin, the company transformed farm fields into what has now become the highest-producing soy sauce facility in the western world.

Since that time, Kikkoman has forged partnerships and friendships within the Walworth community, celebrating shared cultural values like hard work, respect, cooperation, and a commitment to excellence – and contributing more than $17 million to charitable causes in the local community and beyond.

Now, the company is investing at least $800 million in the new Jefferson facility, as well as expansion initiatives at its Walworth plant—an investment that will create 83 new jobs over 12 years.

After several years of careful consideration and a nationwide search for a site, Kikkoman came back to Wisconsin, choosing the community of Jefferson from among 64 Midwestern locations. Set on a 100-acre lot at the heart of what will be the 200-acre Food and Beverage Innovation Campus, the new 240,000-square-foot KFI Jefferson facility will be a model of state-of-the-art food manufacturing.

The plant will be fully integrated and highly automated using cutting-edge mobile technology. It has been designed for flexibility, speed, efficiency, and scalability, with the ability to make smaller or larger batch sizes as needed. And in keeping with Kikkoman's commitment to sustainability and stewardship, the facility will reduce CO2 emissions by installing energy-efficient equipment, minimizing waste, and proactively using renewable energy.

At the ceremony, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers expressed the state's gratitude to Kikkoman for its long history of collaboration and investment in Wisconsin and confirmed that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will award up to $15.5 million in performance-based tax credits to assist KFI.

"Today's events are a watershed moment in Wisconsin's relationship with a global brand like Kikkoman," said Gov. Evers. "As one of the state's largest trade partners, the strong connection between Wisconsin and Japanese businesses like Kikkoman has been instrumental in driving Wisconsin's economic growth, bolstering innovation, and creating valuable employment opportunities for communities and families across the state. Now, we are adding Kikkoman's new facility here in Jefferson to the growing footprint of leading Japanese businesses in Wisconsin, and I'm proud about the promise this relationship continues to hold for Wisconsinites and the future of our state."

Also in attendance were Mr. Yuzaburo Mogi, Kikkoman's honorary CEO, chairman of the board, Kikkoman Corporation; Mr. Noriaki Horikiri, Chairman, Kikkoman Corporation; Mr. Osamu Mogi, Representative Director; Senior Executive Corporate Officer, Kikkoman Corporation; Secretary Missy Hughes, CEO, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; and Mr. Ben Wehmeier; Administrator, Jefferson County.

At the ceremony, Chairman Mogi spoke to the company's longstanding commitment to the state. "Today, we are committing to an investment in the community of Jefferson and the state of Wisconsin," he said. "Kikkoman believes in Wisconsin, and we are grateful to this great state for believing in us. Our collaboration began half a century ago as a leap of faith, and today, it continues as a promise of continued growth and cultural connection."

"Kikkoman's decision to invest in Jefferson underscores the strength and appeal of our local food and beverage niche," said Jefferson Mayor Dale Oppermann. "We appreciate the trust Kikkoman has placed in our community and look forward to a long, prosperous partnership."

The new facility will produce soy sauce and soy sauce–related seasonings, including teriyaki sauce, with the first shipments of soy sauce planned for Fall, 2026.

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