History of ITO EN

1960's

Changes the Company’s name to ITO EN, LTD.
1966
Changes the Company’s name to ITO EN, LTD.

Established Frontier Tea Corporation, ITO EN's predecessor, in Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka prefecture.

1969

Changes the Company’s name to ITO EN, LTD.

1970's

Introduces a high-speed automatic packaging machine manufactured by Industrial Gesellschaft in Switzerland. Opens ITO EN's first tea shop, Chajuttoku, in Yokohama, Kanagawa
1972
Introduces a high-speed automatic packaging machine manufactured by Industrial Gesellschaft in Switzerland.
  • Introduces a high-speed automatic packaging machine manufactured by Industrial Gesellschaft in Switzerland.
  • Develops vacuum packing technology to preserve the freshness of tea leaves.
1974
  • Constructs Shizuoka Sagara Factory in Sagaracho, Haibara-gun, Shizuoka.
  • Intensifies the production system.
1977
Opens ITO EN's first tea shop, Chajuttoku, in Yokohama, Kanagawa

Opens ITO EN's first tea shop, Chajuttoku, in Yokohama, Kanagawa

1979

Signs an agency contract with China National Native Produce and Animal By-products Import and Export Corporation to import oolong tea for the first time in Japan and starts selling oolong tea.

1980's

Develops the world's first canned oolong tea and starts selling it in select markets Starts selling canned green tea Renames its canned green tea Oi Ocha
1980

Develops the world's first canned oolong tea and starts selling it in select markets

1981
Develops the world's first canned oolong tea and starts selling it in select markets
  • Starts selling canned oolong tea across Japan
  • Establishes OKINAWA ITO EN, LTD.
  • Starts selling black tea imported directly from Sri Lanka
1982
  • Develops green tea cultivation method employing organic fertilizers
  • Becomes the first in the tea industry to include date of manufacture and best-before date in labeling
1984

Successfully develops canned green tea (the predecessor of Oi Ocha) after inventing the T-N (Tea and Natural) Blow process, which removes oxygen from the can to maintain the pristine quality of the green tea

1985
Starts selling canned green tea
  • Starts selling canned green tea
  • Hosts the first ITO EN Ladies Golf Tournament
1986

Opens the Central Research Institute in Makinohara-shi, Shizuoka

1987

Establishes ITO EN (USA) INC. in Hawaii

1989
Renames its canned green tea Oi Ocha
  • Renames its canned green tea Oi Ocha
  • Launches the ITO EN Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest

1990's

Goes public on the OTC market Releases Jujitsu Yasai. Launches Oi Ocha in 500 ml PET bottles
1992
Goes public on the OTC market Releases Jujitsu Yasai.timeline.php

Goes public on the OTC market

Releases Jujitsu Yasai.

1993

Opens a new coffee roasting and processing facility at its Shizuoka Sagara Plant

1994
  • Introduces the Tea Taster System
  • Establishes ITO EN AUSTRALIA PTY. LIMITED in Australia where it starts a tea plantation
  • Establishes the joint venture, Ningbo Shunyi Tea Products Co., Ltd., in China
1996
Launches Oi Ocha in 500 ml PET bottles
  • Goes public on the Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
  • Launches Oi Ocha in 500 ml PET bottles
  • Patents the Natural Clear production method for PET-bottled green tea
1997

Partners in the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's clinical trials with approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

1998

Stock advanced to the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

2000's

Markets the industry's first beverages in heatable PET bottles Launches Oi Ocha Koiaji (Oi Ocha Dark ) Launches the TEAS' TEA black tea brand in Japan. Launches its first canned coffee under the Tully's Coffee brand
2000
Markets the industry's first beverages in heatable PET bottles
  • Markets the industry's first beverages in heatable PET bottles
  • The Shizuoka Sagara Plant and Central Research Institute become ISO 14001 certified
2001
  • Launches a Tea-Producing Region Development Project (new tea plantation business) in Miyakonojo, Miyazaki
  • Establishes the consolidated subsidiary ITO EN (North America) INC. in continental USA.
2002

Production headquarters becomes ISO 9001 certified

2004
Launches Oi Ocha Koiaji (Oi Ocha Dark )
  • Launches Oi Ocha Koiaji (Oi Ocha Dark ) and Ichinichibun no Yasai (A Day's Worth of Vegetables)
  • Crude tea factory gets up and running at ITO EN AUSTRALIA PTY. LIMITED (Victoria, Australia)
  • Commences mail order sales
2006
  • Makes FoodX Globe Co., Ltd. (now Tully's Coffee Japan Co., Ltd.) and Mason Distributors, Inc consolidated subsidiaries
  • Launches a Tea-Producing Region Development Project (new tea plantation business) in Oita Prefecture
2007
  • Corporate divisions become ISO 14001 certified
  • Class 1 Preferred Stock listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange
2008
  • Signs an exclusive distribution agreement with the Danone Group to sell Evian in Japan
  • Establishes ITO EN・ITOCHU MINERAL WATERS CO., LTD.
2009
Launches the TEAS' TEA black tea brand in Japan. Launches its first canned coffee under the Tully's Coffee brand
  • Becomes ISO 14001 certified company-wide, an unprecedented scale in the beverage industry
  • Launches the TEAS' TEA black tea brand in Japan
  • Launches its first canned coffee under the Tully's Coffee brand

2010's

Establishes GREEN VALUE CO., LTD. Opens the Saryo ITO EN café in the Haneda Airport International Terminal Launches the global brand product, ITO EN Matcha Green Tea (tea bags)
2010
Establishes GREEN VALUE CO., LTD.

Establishes GREEN VALUE CO., LTD.

2011
  • Makes Chichiyasu Company a consolidated subsidiary to strengthen the dairy product business.
  • Launches Futatsu no Hataraki Catechin Green Tea (certified by the Japanese government as a “food for specified health uses”), the first ready-to-drink green tea with dual health benefits
  • Wins the Minister of the Environment Prize at the 20th Global Environment Awards for its Used Tea Leaves Recycling System
2012
  • ITO EN SANGYO, LTD. expands its tea bag production plant
  • Establishes ITO EN Asia Pacific Holdings Pte. Ltd. in Singapore.
  • Establishes ITO EN BEVERAGE (SHANGHAI), LTD. in Shanghai, China
2013
  • Establishes ITO EN (Thailand) Co., Ltd. in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Establishes PT ITO EN ULTRAJAYA WHOLESALE, a joint venture for marketing beverages in the Indonesian market
  • Makes Tsuchikura Co., Ltd. a consolidated subsidiary
2014
Opens the Saryo ITO EN café in the Haneda Airport International Terminal

Opens the Saryo ITO EN café in the Haneda Airport International Terminal

2015
Launches the global brand product, ITO EN Matcha Green Tea (tea bags)
  • Makes Distant Lands Trading Company, Inc. in the U.S. a consolidated subsidiary
  • Launches the global brand product, ITO EN Matcha Green Tea (tea bags)
2016
  • Constructs Maccha Kobo on the site of Shizuoka Sagara Factory.
  • Constructs Kobe Factory in Kobe-shi, Hyogo.
2017

Cumulative sales of Oi Ocha top 30 billion bottles

2018

Agreement to conduct clinical trials to verify the preventive effect of Matcha on dementia (Collaborative experiment between Shimadzu Corporation and MCBI)

2019
  • "Oi Ocha" brand recognized by Guinness World Record ™
    * "Largest natural healthy RTD (latest annual sales) green tea beverage" Sales Results (January to December 2018)
  • Develops products containing used barley tea leaves through "Mugi Chakara Recycling System"

2020's

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2020

Establishes a new tea bag production plant in Victoria, Australia.

2021
  • "OI OCHA" brand recognized by Guinness World Record™ for third consecutive year
    *  "Largest natural healthy RTD (latest annual sales) green tea beverage" Sales Results (January to December 2020)
  • Signs a business collaboration agreement on the implementation of bottle-to-bottle recycling
2022

Develops quality estimating technology for crude tea using AI image analysis

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