Synbiotic success: Yakult targets 500,000 daily sales of relaunched FFC drink in Japan

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Yakult plans to sell almost half a million bottles of renewed symbiotic drink daily ©Yakult
Yakult plans to sell almost half a million bottles of renewed symbiotic drink daily ©Yakult

Related tags yakult Japan Probiotic FFC

Yakult Honsha will be releasing its renewed Yakult 400W synbiotic drink with a food with function claim (FFC) in Japan, with plans to sell 485,000 bottles daily from October 2020 to March 2021.

Yakult 400W is a synbiotic drink containing both its flagship probiotic strain Lactobacillus casei​ strain Shirota as well as a prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharide. It was first launched earlier in January in the Kyushu region, and recently achieved the FFC status

According to Hideki Maruyama, from Yakult Honsha’s public relations department, consumption of Yakult 400W can increase beneficial bacteria, namely lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria, improve the intestinal environment, and bowel movements.

One bottle (80mL) of Yakult 400W contains 40 billion Lactobacillus casei​ strain Shirota and 5g of galacto-oligosaccharides.

Yakult 400W contains more probiotics than its flagship beverage New Yakult (65mL) which contains 20 billion Lactobacillus casei​ strain Shirota and no prebiotics. Although, New Yakult has a Food for Specified Health Use (FOSHU) claim for regulating and improving intestinal health, backed by human clinical trials.

400 series

Yakult 400W is part of Yakult’s 400 series, which also includes a Yakult 400 (containing 40 billion Lactobacillus casei​ strain Shirota), and Yakult 400LT (similar to 400, but 30% less sweet).

Similar to Yakult 400W, Yakult has another product called Yakult W which also contains Lactobacillus casei​ strain Shirota (30 billion) and galactooligosaccharides (2.5g) per 100mL.

Yakult W was first launched in 2017 under the name Synbiotic Yakult W.

However, Yakult W does not have an FFC claim. The firm has set a sales target of 27,000 bottles daily from October 2020 to March 2021.

Local sales

According to Maruyama, Yakult 400W will be sold through its door-to-door delivery service via its Yakult Ladies for JPY100 (US$0.95) per bottle.

Sales will be expanded beyond Kyushu in regions including Chugoku, Shikoku, Kinki, Aichi, Gifu, Ishikawa, Toyama, Fukui and Mie prefectures.

Maruyama added: “We will consider a nationwide launch after examining the sales situation going forward​.”

Yakult W will be sold through supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide for JPY120 (US$1.15).

In its latest financial report from April to June 2020 (Q1 FY2020), the firm sold more than nine million bottles daily of its fermented milk products locally, a 2.3% increase from Q1 FY2019 despite the ongoing pandemic.

Worldwide, Yakult sells about 31.6 million bottles per day in 39 countries excluding Japan. Its overseas markets like Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Europe, and USA also saw an increase in average daily bottles sold during this time.

According to the firm, there had also been increased demand for its New Yakult and New Yakult Calorie Half as consumers were increasingly aware of lactic acid bacteria function in maintaining overall health.

We’ll be shining the spotlight on (Probiotics and Prebiotics) in our Growth Asia 2020 interactive broadcast series. Register for free here​.

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