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Zojirushi Corp Celebrates 100-Year Milestone

| by Emily Jed

LOS ANGELES -- Zojirushi Corp. is celebrating its 100th anniversary. First established in 1918 as the family-owned Ichikawa Brothers Trading Co., in Osaka, Japan, the company initially produced hand-blown glass-lined vacuum carafe liners.

It changed its name to Zojirushi Corp. in 1961. In 1970, the company introduced a rice warmer -- its first electric product, along with its first patented airpot beverage dispenser.

In the 1980s, the company continued to innovate, adding microcomputerized rice cookers and electric airpots to its product range.

"Change happens faster and more intensely now. Our competitors are no longer just those who used to be our competitors but new manufacturers entering the market from all corners of the world. They are not limited by the existing ways of the industry, but come up with new ideas in different ways very quickly," said Zojirushi president and chief executive Norio Ichikawa. "Zojirushi's reputation was built by those that came before us, by those who designed the thoughtful products that identify our brand. For the next 100 years, we will keep what made us Zojirushi, and execute changes that are necessary to keep up with the changes in the world."
In addition to Osaka operations, Zojirushi has subsidiaries in Taiwan, Thailand, Shanghai, and the U.S. The company began distributing its products in the U.S. in 1968, and established Zojirushi America Corp. in Bell, CA, in 1987 to better connect with its customers. It has 1,300 employees worldwide.

Topics: Products and Gadgets

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