GYOKUROEN £«£Ŕ£Ō£ň£’£“£Ō£Ň£ő°°
13-19 Sekiguti 1 Chome, Bunkyo Ku, Tokyo-to 112-0014, JAPAN

The founder of instant beverage originating from the experience of an apothecary.
When it comes to Konbucha (kelp tea), I remind myself to drink coffee at Renoir tea room (Center of Tokyo district long established coffeehouse chain store).°° When I was a student, I stayed there for a long time just drinking a cup of coffee and then clerk carried Konbucha to me.°° I just appreciated café staff to serve it to poor overstaying student.°° It was twenty years ago, however, I could not forget its flavor.°° It is not certain of the Konbucha history, but it seems there was already in the Edo era.°° Pouring the hot water onto the sliced Konbu, after we drank it, we ate washed out Konbu. It seems to have been preferred as so-called flavored tea.

The powdery Konbucha we have known well appeared in 1918.°° It was made by Mr. Umazou Fujita, founder of GYOKUROEN. Yes, "Konbucha" of the GYOKUROEN is the founder.°° Also, Konbucha is original of the instant beverage.°° Therefore, it was much quicker than freeze drying instant coffee because it released in 1938.

In 1894 Umazou born in Shizuoka went to Tokyo at a young age and engaged in several jobs.°° Among all of these, working at the whole sale drug company (oriental drug store) which made Umazou how to prescribe medicines was valuable experience.

Umazou acquired how to grater a medicine using a tool called °»Yagen°… here.°° After that, Umazou worked at the food store where uncle owns, then acquired the know-how of purchasing and selling tea.°° He decided to commerce his own business in 1916 and opened tea store°»SHIZUOKAEN°… at Kameido in Tokyo.

Umazou showed his talent from here.°° Although he obtained a store, surviving in the competitive tea industry, something special is necessary.°° He searched for a taste that no other store didn°«t have and lighted on the Konbucha.°° Konbucha which continues from the Edo era consecutively is a simple drink just pouring hot water onto Konbu.°° Though there is peculiar konbu taste, the feature can be said only that.°° Umazou thought.°… If I could elaborate the taste and make Konbucha drinkable, it should also become the luxury goods such as coffee and tea°…. °° Make Konbu powdered and dissolve it in hot water and drink it- It was a novel idea that no one could ever imagine.

Mr Umazou Fujita
The founder of GYOKUROEN, Mr.Umazou Fujita He was a businessman, and an inventor.

Tokorozawa factory that completed it in 1963.

Maintaining positive quality grabbed the consumer heart
Kelp tea in 1955
Konbucha package in 1955 was written 100 Yen for 50 cups.

kelp tea can in 1955
There were large, middle and small sizes of Konbucha can in 1955.

signboard car
The car displayed GYOKUROEN Konbucha sign in 1955 bend to advertisement on the street

First of all, it was necessary to find tasty Konbu.°° Umazou went out to travel Tohoku district, Hokkaido and Sakhalin (Present Russian federal Sakhalin), he walked all over searching for Konbu along the coastline.°° According to what I have heard, he kept biting the obtained Konbu in the train and thickened broth and weakened it and licked it in the hotel.°° As a result, Umazou decided to use Rausu Konbu which is found near Hokkaido Shiretoko cape.°° The Rausu konbu found here is called Rishiri type enaga laminaria diabolica.°° Its fiber is soft and features very good fragrance.°° It is a top quality product used as high quality Shio-Konbu° Konbu boiled with soy sauce and remaining white powdered salt on surface when soy sauce gets cold and dried°ň and Ni-Konbu° boiled and flavored Konbu°ň not to mention soup stock.

Umazou came back to Tokyo and absorbed himself in researching how to bring out Konbu soup stock.°° He finally found best Konbu suitable for drink.°° Then he powdered the konbu in a mortar and considered the combination of seasonings such as salt and sugar.°° It was not easy to make new products from nothing, but he succeeded to make Konbucha that he craved in 1918.°° At the first time, although the store was small, he managed the store slowly but steadily and it became great success.°° Its quality was highly appreciated by the consumers °»It is much more delicious than the current Konbucha°… °»It has deep taste just pouring hot water.°…°° Above all, Umazou was encouraged by the people particular about tea lived in Tokyo supported him.

In this period, Umazou as well as other merchants also got big damage by Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and the defeat of World War II in 1945.°° Even so, he opened new base °»GYOKUROEN°… at Kanda, Tokyo in 1930 after the earthquake.°° He sold not only the Konbucha but also new item powdered tea °»Uji green tea (Latter name °»GYOKUROEN Green tea)°….°° Around this time, Umazou made an agreement not to handle tea instead of displaying the Konbucha on the selves (Japanese tea) with existing tea houses to provide the Konbucha to the nationwide sales route.°° However, Umazou was tough to naming the store °»GYOKUROEN°….°° In addition, he sold °»Noricha°… in 1935.°° In these days, there were other companies in the same line of business that sell a similar Konbucha.°° However, GYOKUROEN was already becoming a leading company with no peer.°° By the way, well-known red can is an important identity of the Konbcha which has been used from first time.°° It is tightly guarded even now.

There is an episode that Umazou demonstrated an enthusiasm for Konbucha.°° When the tide of Pacific War expanded, various economic control laws went into effect.°° Needless to say, it became difficult to manufacture konbucha.°° However, Konbucha was rejoiced for comfort article, many same industry sector were using the substitute raw material and continued to make the inferior quality product.°° Even so, we can earn money if we manufacture the products and if we don°«t company will be distressed.°° At this time, Umazou gave up making Konbucha production.Umazou thought that °»If he lost his credibility making Konbucha now, he probably cannot reopen business when the war ended°….°° After the war, when Umazou started making konbucha again in the hut like barrack, before and during the war customers hearty welcomed the Konbucha.°° Hanging an advertising written °…GYOKUROEN Konbucha available now°… at the entrance of a retail store, the customers gathered rapidly.°° The consumers also looked forward to seeing GYOKUROEN Konbucha.

Positive public relations activities and appearance of °»Ume-Konbucha°…
The person who led GYOKUROEN in the postwar days was Eiji, the second son of Umazou.°° He became the president at 1954.Umazou hammer basic way of business severely into his head.°° Ever since, he adopted a package of bold measures in sequence and company developed rapidly.°° Among them, unique concentration promotion strategy had a large effect on making °»GYOKUROEN Konbucha°… brand famous to the public.°° Eiji limited the advertising method throughout the year and implement promotion intensively.°° For example, once he decided °»we will go on the television and radio this year°… no other paper advertisement materials such as newspaper and magazine are used.°° Conversely, once he decide to put an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine, he put Konbucha ad on the all pages of the house hold account book attaching as appendix in the new year°«s ladies' magazine.°° °»It is useless to do broad and shallow advertisements.°° Let°«s do it narrow but steadily ways and infiltrates Konbucha.°… He took original strategy.°° In addition, he worried about consumers inclined to the elderly layer.°° Therefore, he was ardent to boosting the young people demand.°° In 1973, °»Festival of the young song°… was held in Nippon Budoukan.°° Ten popular singers of the day appeared day and night for two times, he succeeded in mobilizing 30,000 audiences.

Another big result left by Eiji was developing "Ume-Konbucha" about 35°Ń40 years ago and proved to be a great success.°° Developing °»Ume-Konbucha°… he used Ume produced in Wakayama praised as most high quality pickled plum in Japan.°° Freeze drying this Ume with a latest facility, he added it into Konbucha.°° In spite of instant beverage, the key fact is it intact the Ume flavor and received a high reputation in a minute.°° The popularity of Ume –Konbucha have not changed until now.°° Depending on the era, it is said that Ume-Konbucha was sold than the Konbucha.

Eiji had launched various products as "Shiitake-cha" and "Oolong tea" etc. besides Ume-Konbucha.°° In addition, he sold Konbucha and °»Tama-Arare°… together as New Year's greetings commodity.°° He was a man of ideas on marketing side.°° Also, Eiji largely revised the products itself.°° Konbu contains a lot of nutrients such as calcium, iodine, kalium, and vitamins naturally.°° Konbucha is made by crushing konbu dried with extreme infrared radiation until it becomes the ultrafine size called 300 mesh to be absorbed these nutrients easily.

However, when it becomes such particulate, it is difficult to retain fixed quality.°° In order to solve this problem Eiji made powdered Konbucha to granulated one.°° This granulated type now becomes a mainstream of household use and powdery type is for the business and valued use.

°»The third GYOKUROEN mass exhibition contest°» conducted in 1981. Such events were held frequently.

2nd generation president
The second generation president Eiji expanded the postwar of GYOKUROEN (Chairman of the board as of now)

Cannot ignore the influence of TV ! Expanding demand of seasoning.
Kelp tea in the can (granulated powder)

Most basic °»Canned Konbucha (granules)°…
Volume 45g

Kelp tea business use (powder)

°»Konbucha for commercial use (powder)°…
Volume 1kg

plum tea

Popular °»Canned Ume-Konbucha (granules)°…
Volume 40g

The market scale of the Konbucha is about five billion Yen.°° It is not so large, but the GYOKUROEN has approximately 60% of market share.°° Leading brand and the first place both the production volume and sales volume in Japan.°° Though demand of the beverage of Konbucha is decreasing every year, the entire sales volume is expanding.°° The reason is the use for seasoning demand as business.°° Originally, raw materials is Konbu, moreover, it is easy-to-use powdery.°° Konbucha has been used for seasoning as matter of course for a long time.°° Oden, boiled food and Japanese style taste spaghetti goes well with it.°° Many store such as delicatessen or specializing in spaghetti is still using Konbucha for secret seasoning.°° Also, lately it is used for convenience store lunch.°° It is said that the demand of business use is increasing by 10 % every year.

Not only for commercial use, recently there are increasing usages of seasoning for home cooking motivated by TV program.°° When Konbucha had been taken up by information TV program as good for health, there is a good demand.°° In fact, it seems quite a few young consumers who are buying konbucha is not buying it as beverage but seasoning use.°° In this point, it is gladsome and worrisome for GYOKUROEN.°° Although to enlarge the consumer layer is delightful, nevertheless to be honest GYOKUROEN wants to increase the drink demand more.

Needless to say, GYOKUROEN is also taking various measures to arouse drink demand especially young people.°° Ume-Konbucha has been placed at the free drink corner of a certain family restaurant.°° In addition, advertising plan has been carried out using the model with magazine for young female.

Personally, if the trend that Japanese style taste seems stylish spreads more, Konbucha will be received more in the young layer.°° Konbucha different from Green tea, Japanese tea and Sencha, has a peculiar taste once you like it, you never forget it.°° After taking the meal or alcohol, when you want to take a break, it is slightly different from drinking the coffee or green tea.

I went to Renoir written at the beginning.°° There was a retro tea room crowded with business person not changing the appearance since 20 years ago.°° I saw the Konbucha on the menu and place an order.°° I do not know whether the Konbucha served me was GYOKUROEN one.°° However, it was delicious more than I had imagined.

Coverage cooperation°ßGYOKUROEN Company°°ň
The advanced ecology activity, from the polyethylene container to the stand
Kelp tea stand packing
°»Konbucha°… stand up pouch
Korabita green tea stand packing
°»Cola vita green tea°… stand up pouch mixed collagen and Vitamin C
The topic concerning the kelp Konbucha in recent years is the container changing.
The GYOKUROEN are now pushing forward to switch from round cylinder type container made of polyethylene to a stand up pouch with re-sealable zipper.
The features of stand up pouch are followings: °»Keep content safe from moisture°… °…Easy to preserve because of stand up pouch°… °»Slightly more content than a conventional polyethylene one°….
And, we should not miss the feature °»Reduction of the waste°…, ecological factor.
Environmental awareness among consumers is rising recently.
Using hard-to-recycle material becomes a negative image for the company.
Not only the Konbucha (Kelp tea) and Ume-Konbucha (pickled plum tea) but also "Cola vita green tea", healthy green tea is now on sale with stand up pouch.
Of course, the familiar red can is still continuously on sale.
It is easy to recycle the metal can.
Title part taking a picture°ŅKousei Umino
Title part taking a picture direction°ŅKominato Koji
Coverage edit°Ņbird's nest

It edits it based on the content published in Magazine site°ōCOMZINE°Ŕ° NTT COMWARE°ň

History of kelp tea 95 years
 1916 Mr. Umazou Fujita opened "Shizuoka en" tea store in Kameido, Tokyo.
He was a merchant, and also an inventor.
 1918 °»Kelp tea°… was put on sale.
Kelp tea is a pioneer of instant beverages in Japan.
 1930 Moved to Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, and changed a trade name to "GYOKUROEN".
°»GYOKUROEN Green tea°… was put on sale.
 1941 Together with the acceleration of war, manufacture of kelp tea became difficult Although other manufacturers continued to make poor quality products using substitute material, Mr. Umazou flatly withdraw from the manufacture of kelp tea at this time.
 1945 He probably had a feeling that "we may not be able to resume business when the war was over, if we dropped the credit now."
 1954 Mr. Eiji Fujita became the second president.
He was a man of ideas who contributed to the developing the new products such as °»Kelp tea Japanese plum flavor°…, the changes to the granules from powder, the advertising and so on.
"GYOKUROEN Co., Ltd." was incorporated as a stock company.
 1956 Headquarters building was completed in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo.
 1963 To separate the manufacturing and sales, °»GYOKUROEN Food Industries Co., Ltd.°… was incorporated. Herewith, "GYOKUROEN Co., Ltd." became sales company.
 1969 The first display contest was held. It was carried out until the 6th, in 1994.
 1972 °»Kelp tea Japanese plum flavor°… was put on sale.
 1973 °»Song Festival by Youth°… was held at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo.
Dozens of popular singers of the day such as Hiromi Go, Hideki Saijyo, Goro Noguchi, Megumi Asaoka, Mari Amachi, Keiko Fuji performred day and night, attracted audience of 30,000 people.
 1980 °»Kelp tea of granule type°… °»Kelp tea of salt-reduced type°… were put on sale.
 1981 GYOKUROEN Konbucha is used not only drinking, but also as a seasoning. So, collected °»Kelp tea Recipe°… at the newspaper ad.
 1987 Tokorozawa distribution center was completed in Higashitokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture.
 1988 °»GYOKUROEN Co., Ltd.°… was consolidated into °»GYOKUROEN Food Industries Co., Ltd.°… to streamline the management.
 1989 The first °»NOMONOMO campaign°… (Collecting the usage of Kelp tea) was held. The second was held in the next year.
 1994 Display contest was held.
Tokorozawa plant was extended for the granules production lines.
°»One-pot dish of Kelp tea°… sales campaign was implemented at Roppongi, Tokyo and published in the various types of magazines.
 1995 Mr. Hidemasa Fujita became the third president.
 2002 Tokorozawa plant was extended to enhance sanitation management and a laboratory.
 2008 Tokorozawa plant was extended.
°»Kelp tea Premium Class°… was put on sale.
 Premium kelp tea selling. 
Premium Konbucha on sale entering sliced Konbu
Volume 40g
Konbucha (Kelp tea) was made by founder Mr.Fujita Umazou in 1918.
Celebrating the birth of 90th anniversary,
Premium Konbucha
made with fully using Rausu kelp produced in Hokkaido
came into existence.
Enjoy the flavor.
Mr Umazou Fujita
The founder of GYOKUROEN, Mr.Umazou Fujita
£«£Ŕ£Ō£ň£’£“£Ō£Ň£ő TEL +81-3-3260-6464 (Main Number)
13-19 Sekiguti 1 Chome, Bunkyo Ku, Tokyo-to 112-0014, JAPAN