Yakult Europe B.V. is a subsidiary of Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. and is the headquarters and production location for the Yakult Group in Europe.
It was in 1964 that Yakult made the first steps of going global. During the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Yakult was tried for the first time by foreign athletes and visitors. From that moment on, Yakult ventured into the world starting operations in Taiwan in 1964.
After Taiwan, Yakult gradually extended its activities elsewhere in Asia, South America and Europe.
In 1993 the first building activities of the European production location started in the Netherlands. The European headquarters, Yakult Europe B.V., started operations in 1994. The first bottle of Yakult produced in Europe was on 28th March 1994.
Now more than 25 years later, Yakult is available in 13 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Danmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
In Europe, Yakult has 6 sales and marketing companies situated in the following countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, United Kingdom and Italy.
The history of Yakult takes us back to the early 1930s in Japan, when our founding father, scientist Dr. Minoru Shirota, selected and cultivated the Lactobacillus casei Shirota bacteria. It took Dr. Shirota another 5 years of research to find the right food medium for the L. casei Shirota bacteria. In 1935 the first bottle of Yakult, a fermented milk-based drink, was produced in glass bottles. The nurses that worked for Dr. Shirota, later referred to as Yakult Ladies, started distributing Yakult to customers.
The fermented milk drink became so successful, and demand was steadily increasing that in 1955 Dr. Shirota established Yakult Honsha Ltd., (which literally means Yakult head office) in Tokyo, Japan. Simultaneously, the renowned Yakult Central Institute was established in Kyoto.
Once Dr. Shirota established the head office, which centralised all business processes, he returned fully to his lifelong passion; Science! Up until his death in 1982, Dr. Shirota remained dedicated to science at the Yakult Central Institute.