Since 1935, a successful history


It was 1935 when Dr. Minoru Shirota, microbiologist and researcher of the Faculty of Medicine of Kyoto in Japan, made available on the market a particular strain of lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS), able to reach the gut alive helping the balance of the gut. This strain of lactic acid bacteria has been cultivated in a skimmed milk drink which was named Yakult. At the beginning, the drink was only locally distributed even if his projects went well beyond the Japanese border. So Dr. Shirota’s dream was to share his discovery and worldwide distribute the drink.

Today like then, the core of Yakult is represented by the scientific research which is also the basis of our philosophy: to contribute to the people wellbeing through a continuous commitment to the scientific research and specialization in the field of probiotics.

80 years later, everyday in the world, millions of people drink a bottle of Yakult. Dr. Shirota’s dream has come true and we keep on looking ahead the next 80 years with the same far-sightedness…

Discover the story of Yakult

  • 1907


    Elie Metchnikoff published the theory of longevity...

  • 1921


    Dr. Minoru Shirota, Japanese scientist and Yakult’s founder, began to study Medicine at the University of Kyoto...

  • 1930


    Minoru Shirota succeeded in isolating the lactic acid bacteria that he was studying for many years...

  • 1935


    Dr. Shirota decided to put the lactic acid bacteria he discovered in a milk drink easy to metabolize and to drink...

  • 1955


    Dr. Shirota founded the Microbiology Central Institute in Kyoto...

  • 1963


    The Yakult Ladies are born...

  • 1964


    During the Tokyo Olympic Games, the athletes from all the countries tasted Yakult for the first time...

  • 1968


    The glass bottles were replaced by a new packaging...

  • 1971


    Yakult enters into cosmetic market with skin care products.

  • 1993


    Yakult arrives in Europe. In 1993, Almere, in the Netherlands, became the European headquarter...

  • 1994


    On March 28th 1994 in Almere, Yakult went into production...

  • 2000


    Yakult is ISO 14001 certified...

  • 2002


    Particularly studied for the European market, Yakult Light is launched in 2002. In 2002 and 2006 Yakult Light won the Innova Classic prize.

  • 2005


    The first Yakult European Research Center is established in Gand, Belgium.

  • 2014


    Yakult arrives in Malta.