Be-fun rice noodles — also called rice vermicelli and so on — are said to have originated in southern China. “Be-fun” is written as “rice powder” in Chinese characters and is pronounced befun in regional Min dialects (those spoken in southern Fujian Province, Taiwan, Singapore and elsewhere). And indeed, our founder, Kenmin Takamura, who began producing rice noodles in Kobe in 1950, was born in Taiwan.
Kenmin considered rice to be the “king of the five grains” and believed that rice noodles would contribute to the health and well being of the people.
And, for a company philosophy, our founder turned to his name, Kenmin, written with the Chinese characters for “healthiness” plus “people.” We hope delicious rice noodles are bringing smiles to the table and healthiness to the people.
Kenmin Takamura (man holding child) at time of founding
※ We call bifun “Be-fun”. The meaning is to bring fun to bring fun to life with our befun.
Be-fun rice noodles had long been part of the extensive culinary tradition of continental Asia; our founder wanted to extend this tradition to tables in Japan. At Kenmin Foods, we have been working toward this aspiration ever since. On March 8, 2019, we celebrated our 69th anniversary as a company. Over that time, and with the encouragement and patronage of our customers, we have succeeded in establishing “Be-fun” as not only a product and welcome addition to the table, but also as a widely understood word in the Japanese language.
We respect our founder and what he set out to do. Consumer preferences change and so do we. Yet some things stay the same. We conduct research, we study how to do things better. We strive to reduce calorie counts, lower GIs (glycemic indexes), minimize allergens. We do all we can to provide consumers with healthy, tasty noodle products. For it is through such efforts that customers can enjoy our products more fully and more often.
And we have been broadening of range of offerings to the point where Kenmin Foods is now active in pho rice noodle soup, rice pasta, China teas, frozen Chinese food and numerous other elements of Asian cuisine.
Provide products that are “safe, healthy and tasty” — as a food producer, our first responsibility is clear. “Kenmin Be-fun (rice noodles) ”, one of our top offerings, is made entirely from rice. Ingredient selection, preparation method — we have painstakingly developed this product to match the taste and dietary preferences of Japan, our home market.
Nothing makes us happier than to hear people tell us that they like our products, that they find them very tasty.
Safe, healthy and tasty — we select our ingredients, monitor our processes and take full responsibility for what we produce with our own hands.
Kenmin Foods. Truly delicious. Waiting for you at your table.
Issei Takamura, Chairman
Kenmin Foods Co., Ltd.
Thank you for visiting the Kenmin Foods website.
Our company emerged from the aftermath of the Second World War. Refugees from afflicted zones, once safely back in Japan, came to miss the Be-fun rice noodles that they earlier used to have overseas. We began producing Be-fun rice noodles in 1950. And then, a bit later, we came out with Kenmin Fried Be-fun Rice Noodles, which we specifically developed for a new generation of consumers who had never heard of Be-fun rice noodles, who had never tasted them, who had no idea how to prepare them and failed whenever they tried. Our Be-fun was preflavored and did not have to be reboiled. All it took to cook up some very good Be-fun rice noodles was three minutes in a frying pan. This was quite a discovery; it supported the advance of Be-fun rice noodles throughout Japan
Our approach to food preparation is founded on a sincere effort to determine just what our customers seek and to satisfy those desires. It goes without saying that food products should be tasty, safe and of uncompromising quality. We develop products on our own, we prepare them on our own. And we have long turned to rice for its healthiness. We now produce no only Be-fun rice noodles, but many other related products as well, including pho, rice pasta and rice paper. That is our specialty, rice noodles and foods; and, within this area of specialty, we are the leading company in Japan, with an approximately 60% share of the domestic market for such noodles.
We consider the Be-fun noodles developed by our company to represent the “Japanese style” of rice noodles, and as such we wish to promote them throughout the world.
Have a Rice Day® — as suggested by our slogan, we strive to deliver tasty, healthy meals; customer satisfaction; and smiles. And through our business activities, we hope to make our company more valuable to society, more indispensable for the customers that support us.
We want to be helpful, supportive and useful for one and all.
Yuuki Takamura, President, Kenmin Foods Co., Ltd.
* “Have a Rice Day” is a registered trademark of MCC FOODS PRODUCTS CO. LTD.
Kenmin Foods Co., Ltd.
Kenmin is to be a company that helps bring “healthiness” (ken) to “the people” (min).
We are to contribute to healthy and nutritious dietary lifestyles by providing our customers with Be-fun rice noodles and other high quality Asian foods
|Name||Kenmin Foods Co., Ltd.|
|Head Office||5-1-1, Kaigandori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0024 Japan
TEL +81-78-366-3000 FAX +81-78-366-3040 →MAP
|Sales||¥8.5 billion (parent; fiscal year ended February 2019)|
|Number of employees||198 people (as of February 2020)|
|Representative||Yuki Takamura, President & Representative Director|
|Business description||Preparation/sales of Be-fun rice noodles, pho rice noodles, rice pasta, rice paper, frozen foods, oolong tea, etc.
Sales of glass noodles made from bean or potato starch, kudzu starch noodles, etc. Operation of directly-managed restaurants, food outlets
|Major banks||Kobe Branch, Resona Bank; Kobe Main Office, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; Kobe Branch, MUFG Bank; Kobe Branch, Mizuho Bank|
|Branch offices||Five branch offices →List of Business Sites|
|Processing factories||Sasayama Processing Factory →List of Business Sites|
|Fuji Kenmin Foods Co., Ltd. (subsidiary) →List of Business Sites|
|Overseas offices||Two offices →List of Business Sites|
|Restaurants||Four restaurants →List of Business Sites|