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History of AGF®

The Early Years
1954–1969

General Foods, Inc. was established in 1954.
Maxwell instant coffee was released in 1960, followed by the Coffee Gift product set in 1968.
These products among the first to help create a coffee-drinking culture in Japan.

Event
1954
March 2

General Foods established

December
Production plant completed in Itami, Hyogo Prefecture
Bireley's orange and grape concentrate released
1960
December

Maxwell instant coffee released

Instant Coffee

1968
October

Yuban instant coffee released

Instant Coffee

Coffee Gift product set released

Gift Set

1970's

A series of quality instant coffee products were released in 1973, thanks in part to improved freeze-drying production methods.
Marim® non-dairy powdered coffee creamer was released in 1974.
In 1978, the company began producing ground coffee for household brewing.

Event
1970
November
Suzuka Plant completed in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture
1973
August 1

Ajinomoto General Foods, Inc. established (joint venture between Ajinomoto Co., Inc. and General Foods Corporation in the US)

1974
June

Marim® powdered coffee creamer released

Creaming Powder/Creamer/
Instant Tea

1975
March

Maxim® instant coffee released

Instant Coffee

 

Gift Set

1976
November
New equipment set up at Suzuka Plant to produce freeze-dried instant coffee
1977
August

Maxwell® Blendy instant coffee released

Instant Coffee

1978
February

Master Blend ground coffee released

Ground Coffee

June

Master Blend ground coffee gift set released

Gift Set

1979
March
Research laboratory established in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture

1980's

As part of efforts to further popularize coffee-drinking in Japan, the company began producing ground coffee for commercial use and offering gift sets that included single-serving instant coffee stick packets.
In 1988, bottled coffee was proposed as an entirely new product concept. The company released a lineup of bottled coffees that could be used to create delicious iced coffee at home any time.

Event
1982
April

Ground coffee for commercial use released

Commercial Use

August

Grandage instant coffee released

Instant Coffee

1984
 

Variety Gift Set released

Gift Set

1985
August

Maxim® ground coffee released

Ground Coffee

1986
October

Blendy® instant coffee released

Instant Coffee

1988
May

Blendy® bottled coffee and Kocha Monogatari (Tea Story) bottled tea released

Liquid Coffee

August

Belpack, Inc. (now AGF Suzuka, Inc.) established in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture

Shin-chajin® (New Tea Master) instant tea released

Creaming Powder/Creamer/
Instant Tea

1989
April

Shin-chajin® products for instant tea dispensers released

Commercial Use

June

Gift sets released for Blendy® and Maxim® bottled coffee products

Gift Set

August

Blendy® ground coffee released

Ground Coffee

1990's

Consumers increasingly call for a more personalized coffee experience. In 1998, the company began selling chilled coffee in cups.

Event
1991
April
New equipment set up at Suzuka Plant to produce coffee in plastic bottles
October
AGF SP, Inc. established
1995
August

Vacuum-sealed packages of Maxim® ground coffee released

Ground Coffee

September
Green Pack, Inc. (now AGF Kanto, Inc.) established in Ojima (now Ota), Nitta District in Gunma Prefecture
1996
March
Ojima Plant completed in Ojima (now Ota), Nitta District in Gunma Prefecture
 

Gift Set

1998
April

Blendy® released in chilled cups

Liquid Coffee

1999
February

Blendy® bottled coffee with milk released

Liquid Coffee

 

Gift Set

2000's

The company began selling single-serve drip coffee in 2001. The following year, it released single-serve instant coffee stick packets that made it easy to enjoy authentic coffee flavors any time.
Efforts were made to meet increasingly diverse consumer needs with the release of flavored stick packets that included green and black teas, cocoa, and more.

Event
2000
March
Ojima Plant acquires ISO 9002 certification
November
Suzuka Plant acquires ISO 9002 certification
2001
February

Blendy® Drip Pack ground coffee

Ground Coffee

March
Mannooligosaccharides isolated from spent coffee grounds and discovered to help regulate gastrointestinal function

Blendy® iced coffee released in cartons

Liquid Coffee

April

Maxim® Café Menu series released

Liquid Coffee

July
Entire group, including affiliates, acquires ISO 14001 certification
2002
February

Maxim® Handy Drip ground coffee released

Ground Coffee

Blendy® single-serve concentrated liquid coffee packets released

Liquid Coffee

Blendy® single-serve instant café au lait packets released

Stick Products

March

Maxim® instant coffee refill pack released

Instant Coffee

Stick Products

May

Marim® single-serve liquid creamer packets released

Creaming Powder/Creamer/
Instant Tea

October

Blendy® instant coffee refill pack released

Instant Coffee

2003
November
Entire group acquires ISO 9001 certification

Blendy® single-serve instant coffee stick packets released

Stick Products

2004
May

Blendy® Maroyaka Café au Lait released in cartons

Liquid Coffee

2005
March

Blendy® single-serve instant coffee packets with oligosaccharides released

FOSHU*
*Food for Specified Health Uses

2006
April
AGF Pack, Inc. changes its name to AGF Suzuka, Inc. and Green Pack, Inc. changes its name to AGF Kanto, Inc.

Maxim® café series Matcha Latte released

Stick Products

 

Gift Set

2007
March

Maxim® Chotto Zeitakuna Kohiten ground coffee released

Ground Coffee

Maxim® Chotto Zeitakuna Kohiten instant coffee released

Instant Coffee

2008
 

Gift Set

2009
February

Blendy® Plus released

FOSHU*

2010's

The company released Teaheart fruit tea in single-serve stick packets in 2013, leading to brisk sales in the stick packet tea market. With consumers demanding ever-more personalized beverage experiences, there was a growing market for products like stick packets and single-serve ground coffee.
In 2014, AGF proposed the JapaNeeds Coffee®, to cater to the delicate palates and distinctive coffee-drinking habits of the Japanese. It introduced T2ACMI Baisen® to match the flavor profile of Japan's soft water.
The following year, Sen coffee was released. The product was designed specifically for the Japanese palate, which was scientifically demonstrated to have a heightened aromatic sensitivity through a research project that looked at national flavor preferences.
In April 2015, AGF experienced a "second founding" when it became a wholly-owned member of the Ajinomoto Group. The following April, Ajinomoto Co., Inc. transferred its gift product business to AGF, integrating it with AGF's existing gift product business.
The name of the company was changed to AJINOMOTO AGF, INC. in July 2017.

Event
2010
 

Single-serve stick packets

Stick Products

2012
February
Blendy® released in plastic bottles made from recycled material
April
AGF Kanto, Inc. and AGF Suzuka, Inc. acquire FSSC 22000 certification
 

Stick Products

2013
February

Ground Coffee

Liquid Coffee

Blendy® Teaheart single-serve stick packets released

Stick Products

Stick Products

August

Maxim® Top Grade Hybrid released

Instant Coffee

Maxim® Patissiena single-serve stick packets released

Stick Products

2014
August

Liquid Coffee

2015
February

Blendy® Hello Smoothie single-serve stick packets released

Stick Products

AGF® Professional commercial-grade brand introduced

Commercial Use

Stick Products

April
AGF, Inc. becomes a wholly-owned Ajinomoto Group Company
 

Gift Set

August

Sen ground coffee released

Ground Coffee

2016
March

Assist Water® released

FOSHU*

April
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. transfers its gift product business to AGF, Inc., integrating it with AGF's existing gift product business

Gift Set

October
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. purchases the trademarks for Blendy®, Maxim®, and other AGF-manufactured products
2017
July

Company name changed to AJINOMOTO AGF, INC.