Our Story | Mizkan Chef

Over 200 years of Heritage

Mizkan’s story began more than 200 years ago in 1804 with an innovative sake brewer from Handa, Matazaemon I, who started experimenting making vinegar with the lees left over from sake brewing.

Matazaemon I saw that convenient meals of soba, sushi and tempura were extremely popular in Edo (modern-day Tokyo) and he realised that sake vinegar sweet and rich in umami complemented sushi rice and their toppings better than the traditional rice vinegar. Mizkan sake cake vinegar became favoured by Yohei Haneya, creator of nigiri sushi and gained popularity across Edo.

In 1811, Matazaemon I’s sake vinegar was so popular he opened an operation plant in Handa, thus establishing Mizkan’s vinegar for the long term. Since then, Mizkan has continued to grow its food business, vinegar and beyond, with the aim to enrich food culture “bringing flavour to life”, and to provide quality nourishment to consumers.


As a leading manufacturer of seasonings and condiments Mizkan pledges to:

“Evoke social changes through new taste experiences”

Positively impacting society through food, as Mizkan has from the start of our journey.

“Act for the well-being of the earth, society, and all that dwell on it”

Dedicating ourselves to becoming more sustainable and nourishing the earth from which our original vinegar was created.

To realise its vision statement, Mizkan will continue to challenge itself and innovate in all that we do.
Find out more about Mizkan’s vision statement here.


Mizkan’s commitment to quality also led it to champion the distinction of brewed vinegar against synthetic vinegar, and to establish one of the first bottling vinegar plants in Japan. In late 20th century, Matazaemon VII reiterated Mizkan’s focus on the quality of products with a new corporate philosophy “Offering the customers only the finest products” which together with “bringing flavour to life”, demonstrates Mizkan pride in making food that nourishes people.

Nowadays, Mizkan is one of the largest privately-owned global food companies and the number one vinegar company in Japan, with operations across America, Europe and Asia. To add to its portfolio of market-leading Japanese products, Mizkan acquired the much-loved British brands Branston, Sarson’s, Haywards and Dufrais in 2012 and 2013, further cementing its position as condiments and seasoning category experts.


The logo and slogan of the Mizkan Group is inspired by the global company vision of “bringing flavour to life”. Based on the Matazaemon family crest, the logo shows three bars representing: Taste, Tang and Aroma, while the circle represents the harmony of all three. The logo reflects the proud heritage and tradition born out of over two hundred years of expertise and market leadership.

Looking to the future we hope to continue to inspire chefs by providing versatile and delicious ingredients, condiments and more, continuing our legacy for many years to come.