I was ecstatic when I got an invite to join select bloggers to tour the local Yakult Manufacturing plant in Makiling, Laguna.
I drank a lot of Yakult while growing up but after tasting grape flavored ones in Singapore, I’ve been craving for those ever since. I knew this was my chance to ask why they don’t have flavored ones here.
We arrived at the plant after traveling around 2.5 hours with a little stopover at a gas station. We were led around the production area, the nearest of which was the packing area. This is where our favorite Yakult is packed into the easily recognizable five pack.
We were told that the plant was established in 1978 and since then has undergone 3 expansions which increased capacity to 1.6 million Yakult bottle per day. They are already preparing another expansion since daily sales has nearly reached the maximum capacity.
We all could see the clean and semi-automated process whereby Yakult is manufactured. We were not even allowed to step foot inside the manufacturing area, being allowed only on the gallery above.
This is the pure Yakult culture containing the live Lactobacillus Casei Shirota Strain which was taken from Japan during the start-up of the plant but is now locally cultured from the original strains.
The foil cover is the secret to maintaining the freshness of Yakult for 45 days, it is also the only part not manufactured in the Philippines, instead it is imported from either Japan or Korea.
The Yakult container was just recently granted a three-dimensional worldwide trademark, only the second product to obtain it following the Coca Cola bottle. The bottle being produced in the Philippine market is the 80ml which is the medium sized one. There are actually 3 sizes produced worldwide, namely the 65ml, the 80ml and the 100ml. Yakult Philippines has no plans of producing the bigger bottle since they like to keep the unit prices lower.
It was indeed a great experience getting to know the process where they made a favorite drink of mine, Yakult. I was also informed that they feel the Philippine market is not ready for the flavored Yakult yet. So, you Yakult lovers out there, better go out and buy more Yakult and maybe this would spur the company to come out with the flavored ones.
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