Licensing Expo Japan Exhibitor Spotlight: Kewpie

Learn about LEJ exhibitor Kewpie and the brand that has become synonymous with mayonnaise in Japan.

License Global

August 3, 2019

2 Min Read

We continue our series of exhibitor spotlights for Licensing Expo Japan with a look at the Kewpie Corporation.

In Japan, Kewpie is as synonymous for mayonnaise as Heinz is for ketchup in the U.S. The longstanding Japanese company is well-known across the country for its uniquely flavored mayo and other food products. With its classic Kewpie doll logo and standup bottle featuring a red cap, the corporation has stood the test of time to develop a brand identity that is distinctive in the food and beverage industry.

Celebrating 100 Years of Kewpie

Founded in 1919 as the Shokuhin Kogyo Co., Kewpie was born out of the international travels of company founder Toichiro Nakashima. The businessman spent three years during the 1900s traveling the U.S. and U.K. as an intern with Japan’s Department of Agriculture and Commerce. From those trips, he learned about Western foods such as orange marmalade and mayonnaise.

Kewpie mayonnaise came from a desire to recreate the white condiment for a different audience. The company debuted its original mayonnaise recipe in 1925 using only egg yolks for the mayo to create a creamier and silkier flavor. Unique flavors were also added to give the spread a taste, unlike traditional American mayonnaises.

Cut to modern day, and Kewpie is a staple in Japan and growing in popularity around the world. It's stable of food items include dressings, sauces and other staples of the kitchen. The company even recently launched a Kewpie-inspired food truck in San Francisco, Calif. that features a menu of choice food and Kewpie-dressing pairings.

A Uniquely Kewpie Brand

Kewpie uses a unique brand based on the Kewpie doll created by cartoonist Rose O'Neill. The cherub-styled character originally appeared in comics in the 1900s before being transformed into consumer merchandise, and eventually the Kewpie Mayonnaise mascot.

Today, Kewpie owns the trademark to the character. It uses it across its company product line and has become synonymous with the food maker’s various items.

Meet with Kewpie at LEJ

Co-located with the Tokyo International Gift Show, LEJ runs Sept. 3-6 and provides one of the biggest stages for licensing industry discussions in the country. It even provides licensing professionals the chance to connect with nearly 2,900 existing and potential licensee companies that exhibit.

To learn more about Kewpie, be sure to register for LEJ 2019 and visit them on the LEJ show floor.

About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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