TOKYO – Yakult Honsha Co., a major food and beverage firm popularly known for its probiotic drink, will aim to meet brisk demand by building a new factory in the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, raising local output capacity by about 70 percent.
The Tokyo-based firm announced Monday that the new factory, to be constructed by its Manila-based equity-method affiliate, Yakult Philippines, Inc., in El Salvador in the province of Misamis Oriental, will start operations in January 2023 with a maximum daily production capacity of 3.2 million bottles of its mainstay Yakult and low-calorie Yakult Light.
The new plant, Yakult’s second in the Philippines, will sit on a plot of about 42,000 square meters, some 40 percent larger than its first plant in Calamba in Laguna province near the capital Manila.
Yakult did not publicly disclose the amount it will spend to build the plant, which will have a total floor space of about 26,000 square meters.
It will initially produce 1.6 million bottles of Yakult and Yakult Light daily, and the company plans to expand its facilities depending on demand.
Yakult’s combined daily output capacity in the Southeast Asian country will thus rise about 70 percent to a maximum of 7.9 million bottles.
“With the construction of a new factory, we can anticipate further market expansion and growing demand in the Visayas in the central Philippines and Mindanao in the south,” a Yakult spokesman told NNA.
Partly backed by growing health consciousness among Filipino consumers, sales in the Philippines soared 94.7 percent to 3.03 million bottles on a daily basis in 2020 over a year before.
The Philippines is Yakult’s fourth-largest overseas market after China with 7.01 million bottles, Indonesia with 6.73 million bottles and Mexico with 3.5 million bottles.
Yakult has promoted sales in the Philippines by deploying a sales force of about 3,800 “Yakult ladies.”