Ajinomoto invests in agri firm SAKA NO TOCHU

Accelerating corporate venture capital activities to create a new business model.

Image credit: Ajinomoto

Image credit: Ajinomoto

Ajinomoto Co., Inc. has recently invested in SAKA NO TOCHU Co., Ltd., which sells agricultural products, as its first corporate venture capital project.

With this project, Ajinomoto, will support SAKA NO TOCHU’s business growth as a shareholder and start investigating a new business model that utilises the vegetables, specialty coffee beans, and other items sold by the company.

The e-commerce market for food products is estimated to be approximately JPY 1.8 trillion, but e-commerce accounts for only about 3 per cent of total food product sales. While this level is low, the growth rate stood at a year-on-year increase of 8 per cent in fiscal 2019, and the e-commerce market is expected to grow further in the future.

Meanwhile, interest in specialty coffees continues to rise in Japan. That market is expected to grow from JPY 35.6 billion in fiscal 2018 to JPY 49.8 billion yen in fiscal 2022.

Ajinomoto Co. will be able to investigate possibilities for providing new value and can look forward to new points of consumer contact through initiatives with SAKA NO TOCHU, which has extensive experience in the field of online sales.

For these reasons, Ajinomoto Co. decided to invest in the company. Ajinomoto Co. has set four areas for its corporate venture capital investment: Health and Well-being; Sustainable Society and the Earth; The Culture of Food, and Dining Innovation; and Evolution of Cooking.

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