Kibon was founded in 1941 by Americans U.S. Harkson and John Kent Lutey. Lutey was the on-site Director and President. The two originally worked together in Shanghai, China. The original corporate name was U.S. Harkson do Brasil, which was later changed to Cia Harkson Industria e Comercio Kibon. Lutey was Director-President until 1962.
In 1942, Kibon introduced its first ice cream products to Brazil: Eskibon (chocolate-covered ice cream) and Chicabon (chocolate and malt popsicle) with 50 refrigerated pushcarts on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. They were an enormous success and the company grew quickly, introducing classic and tropical flavors. The company also produced dried eggs for food industries. Kibon later introduced a variety of candies, chocolates and gum. By 1960, Kibon was available through more than 3,000 pushcarts as well as retail stores throughout the industrial south of Brazil.
In 1957, Kibon entered into a joint venture with the General Foods Corporation to manufacture and market several of its brands, including Kool-Aid and breakfast cereals. The joint venture was named Industrias Alimenticias Gerais, S.A., a Brazilian corporation.