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From small beginnings to big business

From humble local beginnings to the worldwide brand you see today, family has always been at the heart of our business.

The UCC story began in 1933 when an ambitious young man established a western food store in Kobe, Japan. Ueshima Tadao’s passion for all things Western soon led him to discover coffee and such was his passion for this rich, aromatic ‘mysterious beverage’ that he dedicated his life to making coffee popular across Japan.

In 1951, with a capital of just one million yen (about €7,000), Ueshima Coffee Incorporated was born.

Today UCC Europe is part of a worldwide coffee business that includes 11 operating companies, dozens of brands and thousands of passionate staff around the globe. We use our experience and expertise to offer customers unbeatable products, service and support every day.

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1951

Ueshima Coffee Incorporated is created with the slogan “Sophisticated people love coffee!”

1951

1958

UCC opens its first coffee shop in Hakata, Fukuoka.

1958

1969

UCC creates the world’s first ever brand of canned coffee – still the companies biggest source of sales profit.

1969

1970

Canned coffee becomes a global sensation after UCC are invited to sell it at the Osaka International Expo.

1970

1972

UCC films the coffee industry’s first television commercial.

1972

1978

Foods Supply International Corporation is created to better serve the restaurant and fast food industries.

1978

1979

UCC creates Japan Hills Coffee Corporation. Sales reach one hundred billion yen within a year.

1979

1981

UCC opens its first directly managed coffee plantation in the Jamaican Blue Mountains.

1981

1984

A local UCC subsidiary is established in Brazil enabling UCC to analyse and approve the quality of its own exported green coffee beans.

1984

1987

The UCC Coffee Museum opens in Kobe.

1987

1988

Food services are integrated into UCC coffee shops and UCC Food Service System Corporation is established.

1988

1989

UCC opens a second directly managed coffee plantation in Hawaii.

1989

1994

Another world first is achieved as ‘UCC Black’ (non-sugar) is introduced to the canned coffee market.

1994

1996

The innovative new ‘Super Aroma System’ is introduced in UCC’s Rokko Island Factory. UCC Hyogo General Factory is the first to achieve the international ISO9002 standard for quality management systems.

1996

2001

UCC enters the single serve coffee market with the introduction of the ‘Keurig Coffee System’.

2001

2004

Through a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, UCC becomes the first company in the Japanese market to sell sustainable coffee.

2004

2007

The UCC Coffee Academy is opened to offer a coffee education and training program to all employees as well as public.

2007

2011

A further on-site office is completed in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, enabling UCC experts to inspect the production processes of green beans for UCC.

2011

2012

UCC acquires United Coffee and UCC Europe is born.

2012

2013

The 80th anniversary of UCC Group.

2013

Timeline