From legacy to localisation: How Japan’s Kikkoman is winning over India

Japanese soy sauce brand Kikkoman’s strategy when entering the Indian market and taking on an established incumbent was to change the perception of chefs and culinary experts.

Kikkoman may be a household name sold in over 100 countries but it wasn’t until three years ago in February 2021 – in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic – that the Japanese heritage soy sauce brand made its first foray into India.

“In a sense, this (during COVID-19) was a better time to start," explained Kikkoman India director and India representative Harry Hakuei Kosato at the Spikes Asia 2024 conference in Singapore. "Everybody was more at home and they were questioning whether they were getting the right ingredients or the best ingredients.”

Prior to entering the country, market research...

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