While Filipinos inquire over Yakult’s small size, big bottles are sold elsewhere

February 17, 2021 - 11:36 AM
Yakult bottles
Yakult bottles posted on Yakult Philippines' Facebook page on Feb. 10, 2020, as credited to "edcelbarte16." (Photo from Yakult Philippines via Facebook)

An actor in the Philippines found an answer on why a popular probiotic drink only comes in small bottles—not enough to satisfy one’s cravings.

Roseller Kempis shared screengrabs of his exchange with Yakult Philippines on Facebook where he asks why sell the drink only in little bottles.

The company’s representative replied that Yakult is meant to be consumed in one sitting.

“The products carry live culture that will be prone to contamination once it’s not consumed at once. Having a bigger Yakult will make it prone to contamination by frequent opening and closing of the lid,” the response to Kempis goes.

The Yakult page also explained that the 80 ml bottle “contains just the right amount and sufficient good bacteria” which is the 8 billion live Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain.

The amount is enough to “keep the balance of the gut and help improve digestion,” it said.

Kempis’ post has gone viral with 13,000 likes and reactions, 4,700 comments and 94,000 shares on the social networking platform as of this writing.

Yakult Philippines on its website likewise answers the question in its “Common Questions Encountered” under its FAQ section.

“Yakult is a product that was created so that people could consume lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus case strain Shirota) which is beneficial to people’s health,” it said.

Another case of ‘onli in da Philippines’?

It turns out, however, that larger bottles of Yakult are sold in Japan but not in the Philippines.

Filipinos from other parts of the world reported that larger Yakult sizes can be brought outside the country. “We have here in Japan,” a Facebook user wrote in response to Kempis’ post.

“Meanwhile, here in Japan haha,” another online user commented.

Yakult originated in Japan, where scientist Minoru Shirota strengthened and cultured the strain which was eventually named after him—the Lactobacillus paracasei strain Shirota.

A Singapore website compared the two sizes of the drink last year and noted that the small one contains the “live L.casei strain Shirota” while the big one does not.

The 500 ml of the Yakult bottle, based on the website’s obtained ingredients list, does not mention anything about the strain.

It only lists “fermented milk” among its ingredients. This means the larger bottled Yakult is just that—a probiotic drink.

The website also said that the bigger Yakult “looks more diluted” and “tastes a little watered down” compared to the small one which is called the “original.”

Yakult describes probiotics as “live microorganisms which benefit people’s health by improving the balance of intestinal flora.”

It said that drinking it on a regular basis helps maintain the “balance of our intestinal flora wherein the beneficial bacteria would outnumber the harmful bacteria in our intestines.”