This year marks a quarter of a century since the launch of Yakult on the UK market. Over the past 25 years, over 1.7 billion bottles of the Japanese fermented milk drink have been sold, each in turn containing billions of unique bacteria, Lactobacillus casei Shirota. Yakult was the first to bring the concept of live ‘friendly’ bacteria products to the UK and has helped build the category here ever since.

Back in 1996, this was an entirely new concept on the local market, although fermented drinks were already popular in Yakult’s home country of Japan, where the product had been launched 60 years previously, using a recipe that remains largely unchanged today. The company began its pioneering work by first aiming to change British perception of bacteria – introducing what was at that point the unprecedented notion of ’friendly bacteria’, together with the science behind it and the high importance of gut health in our overall wellbeing – a mission that Yakult remains committed to today.

With its two products – Yakult Original and Yakult Light, the brand has been listed with all the major retailers from the early days and it is now enjoyed by more than 200,000 people every day, holding a current market share of 11.9%.

Brand awareness activities with a focus on education have always been, and still are, at the heart of Yakult’s success and customer loyalty. Despite the category itself being heavily discounted, Yakult has remained true, throughout the years, to a no price promotions policy.

To coincide with the 25th anniversary, Yakult has announced its new campaign – Yakult. The Little Bottle on a Mission, which aims to recruit new drinkers into the brand, whilst strengthening its wellbeing positioning within the category space. The campaign will go live at the start of September and will include brand new creative content for TV, radio, print, outdoor, digital and PR.

Hiroaki Yoshimura, MD for Yakult UK & Ireland, said: “We are very proud to celebrate 25 years in the UK and everything the team has achieved during this time. We have played an important role in educating consumers about bacteria and the gut, sharing the science and Yakult’s own 85 years of research, but we’ve also learned a lot along the way. 

We know that British and Irish consumers become loyal fans once they come to know and love a product and we are on mission to have more of them try Yakult, with its unique bacteria, and experience having it as part of their daily wellbeing routine. We are always a little bottle on a mission!

The creative campaign, A Little Bottle on a Mission, is rooted in Yakult’s many joyful missions, from the mission to reach your gut alive, to the brand’s ongoing mission to invest in scientific research into microbiology and bacteria, and the mission to inspire happiness and wellbeing through science.

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