Jim Romenesko, of Evanston, Ill. who grew up in Walworth, was on State Street in Chicago recently when he noticed Kikkoman clothing items on display at a Zumiez store. Kikkoman recently partnered with Primitive Skate to launch a variety of items including shirts, hats, slide sandals and even skateboards designed to look like a soy sauce bottle. (Submitted photo)

Joint venture leads to launch of products for skateboard enthusiasts

By Heather Ruenz

Staff writer

Jim Romenesko, a retired journalist from Evanston, Ill. who grew up in Walworth, recently made a surprising discovery about Kikkoman Foods, which is known for its soy sauce and also makes a variety of other sauces.

“I was walking down Chicago’s State Street recently and was surprised to see some Kikkoman t-shirts in the window of a skateboard/skate wear shop,” Romenesko wrote in an email. “I wasn’t aware that Kikkoman was a hot brand with the cool kids.”

He said he went into the Zumiez store – a national chain known to appeal to skateboard enthusiasts of all ages – and told the clerk he grew up in Walworth, the home of Kikkoman US.

“I asked about kids and the brand. She said it was popular, and added: ‘We just got a Kikkoman skateboard in today,’” Romenesko said.

“How a brand or product like that becomes a thing with hip skate kids is a mystery to me,” he added.

A quick image search on Google for “Kikkoman clothing” listed several websites in addition to zumiez.com that have items for sale.

A bit more research revealed Kikkoman and Primitive Skate recently launched a campaign of items featuring Kikkoman’s logo and more.

A video on primitiveskate.com, which runs 47 seconds, shows several designs on shirts along with baseball hats, sandals and socks. Near the end of the commercial, the connection to Kikkoman as most know it is made when the young man featured throughout the video is shown eating a meal and using Kikkoman soy sauce.

As Romenesko discovered at the Zumiez he stopped by, the skateboard the clerk spoke of not only featured the Kikkoman name but is designed to look like a soy sauce bottle including the overall shape of the board.

Attempts to reach a Kikkoman’s representative were unsuccessful. It’s possible they were out getting some “air” on a uniquely shaped skateboard before stopping for a lunch that might best be complimented with Kikkoman’s Soy Sauce.


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