Kao Corporation is known for its state-of-the-art information systems while also engaging in the manufacture and sale of various consumer products under beauty, health, and home care. The company has amassed over 20 major brands in the cosmetic and skincare industry including Jergens, Molton Brown, Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, and Merries. These brands are popularly available around the globe, particularly in Asia, Oceania, North America, and Europe.
The company was founded by Tomiro Nagase on June 19, 1887, and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan as Kao Soap Company, Ltd. Shortly after they introduced their first soap product in 1890 and in the same year, Kao adopted its crescent-moon logo, which was similar to its long time rival Procter & Gamble Co.’s logo. Kao’s success started in the 1980’s when its Merries brand of disposable diapers far outsold Procter & Gamble in Japan. Then again when they entered the cosmetic market for the first time with its Sofina line cosmetics. This rapid advancement propelled them to the number two position in the Japanese cosmetic market, trailing only Shiseido Co.
Kao has been acquiring businesses such as Andrew Jergens Company in 1988 and Molton Brown in 2005. Kao continues to acquire businesses around the world to bring excellence to all. Kao corporation ranked #4 out of 42 companies in the Corporate Knights Industry Group’s Personal Care and Cleaning Products category in 2020 due to its excellent innovation capacity, employee retention, as well as clean revenue with clear environmental benefits.
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