¿What are the largest tea companies in Japan?
When I first started researching this topic, it turned out that the biggest companies in the Japanese tea industry didn’t cultivate it.
They are beverage companies such as Kirin, Asahi and Suntory. The main reason for this is the popularity of bottled tea.
So here’s the top 3 list of tea companies in Japan that actually produce tea, not just bottle it.
1. Ito En
Ito En, Ltd. (株式会社伊藤園) states in their website that they produce a quarter of the green tea in Japan. That’s outstanding!
Their revenue in 2018 was 495 billion yen.
The company was founded in 1966 in Shizuoka city.
It’s name back then was フロンティア製茶 (Frontier Tea Corporation).
Ito En was the first company to import oolong tea into Japan and the first to sell canned tea, among other achievements.
Besides bottled and loose leaf tea they sell other beverages such as coffee, roasted barley tea, and vegetable drinks.
Ito En’s most popular green tea brand is Oi Ocha.
It’s my favorite bottled tea 🙂
2. Harada Seicha
Harada Tea Processsing Co., Ltd. (ハラダ製茶株式会社) is involved in tea cultivation, processing, distribution, and even selling directly through its tea house and online shop.
It was founded in 1917, more than 100 years ago. Last year it sold 25 billion yen worth of products.
They also sell coffee, barley tea, and nori.
Harada Seicha’s most famous product is their Yabukita Blend, a packaged green tea.
A big part of this tea’s success has been the series of television commercials aired since 1999.
Since it’s also an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Harada Seicha makes tea for different brands.
It’s based in Shimada city, Shizuoka prefecture.
Fukujuen Co., Ltd. (株式会社福寿園) is the oldest of the three tea companies.
It was founded all the way back in 1790!
Fukujuen specializes in tea from Uji. It has many tea stores in Japan.
Their most successful product is the bottled tea Iyemon, made in collaboration with Suntory.
Fukujuen also sells tea utensils and sweets.
The company is located in Kizugawa city, Kyoto prefecture.
It had a revenue of 12 billion yen in 2018 .
June 5, 2019
Interesting. Fukujuen tea is not that bad…
June 5, 2019
I haven’t tried Fukujuen’s loose leaf tea, only their bottled one.
June 7, 2019
Thanks for the post. Ito En also made the matcha green tea bags for Kirkland (Costco) in the US. Not sure if those are still available.
June 7, 2019
Hi Bill, thanks for your comment. I didn’t know about those matcha green tea bags.