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Worldwide Probiotic Drink, Yakult(R), Launches in Its First Major U.S. Market

- Ad campaign and product launch in Southern California is an important

stride to help spread Yakult's message about preventative health to

Americans -

TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Tokyo-based consumer products company Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. has announced sales of world-leading beverage, Yakult, in its first mainstream market in the U.S. This fall, the probiotic dairy drink will be available at major supermarkets, initially in Southern California with plans to expand to all grocery chains throughout the state. In 1999 Yakult U.S.A. Inc., the corporate subsidiary, set up operations in Los Angeles but only distributed the product to Asian and Hispanic grocery stores due to Yakult's popularity and good reputation among these consumers.


"More than 25 million people in 30 countries around the world enjoy Yakult on a daily basis. We hope that Americans will also incorporate our delicious product into their diets in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle," says Mr. Teruo Tabuchi, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Torrance, CA-based Yakult U.S.A. Inc. "We continue to carry out the goals set forth by our company's founder -- to educate every one in the world about preventive health."

While probiotic products and the concept of "friendly bacteria" are just beginning to catch on in America, Yakult has been around for a long time as the leading company. The beverage was developed in 1930 by a Japanese microbiologist, Dr. Minoru Shirota, who aspired to create a healthy product that everyone could afford. Twenty years later the company was formed and now more than 8 million bottles are consumed daily in Japan alone.

The active bacteria unique to Yakult is called Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota, named in honor of Dr. Shirota. It differs from general cultures commonly found in yogurt because it is able to withstand strong gastric acids and reach the intestines alive. The standard 2.7 fluid ounce bottle of Yakult contains an impressive 8 billion L. casei Shirota bacteria. In Japan, years of research support the various health benefits of probiotics, including the suppression of harmful bacteria in the intestines, improved digestive function, and maintenance of overall health. However, probiotic research in the United States is only in its infancy and the impact on health is still being evaluated.

Today Yakult also launches its advertising campaign featuring the slogan: "Every day. For Every Body.(TM)" Ads will run in prominent print publications and be aired during premier TV and radio programming in Southern California.

Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., the parent company of Yakult U.S.A. Inc., was established in Japan in 1955. The quality of Yakult is supported by more than 70 years of scientific research. Scientists all over the world continue to confirm and expand knowledge regarding the benefits of probiotics and Yakult. To learn more, visit

Contact: Lauren Weidelman

Yakult U.S.A. Inc.

(310) 542-7065 ext. 107

SOURCE Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd.
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