"Yakult has been all about bacteria for 85 years. Our history begins in 20th-century Japan."

"In 1921, the Japanese scientist and founder of the Yakult company, Dr Minoru Shirota, was trying to find a way of getting live bacteria into the intestine. Dr Shirota was a follower of Dr Elie Metchnikof, who saw a link between the old age attained by certain nomadic peoples and the lactic acid bacteria which they consumed via fermented dairy products. In 1930, Dr Shirota selected lactobacilli which were resilient enough to survive a lengthy and complicated process and arrive in the intestine alive. This family of bacteria, Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS), has been named after him. In 1935, the first little bottle of Yakult, containing billions of LcS, hit the market and, in 1955, Dr Shirota founded the Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research where scientific work is done into bacteria and microbiota. People from outside Japan first got to know Yakult during the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. In the same year, Yakult opened its first business concern outside Japan, in Taiwan. Nowadays, over 35 million little bottles of Yakult are drunk per day in 38 countries. Yakult has been available in Europe since 1994. The European factory is in Almere in the Netherlands and can be visited free of charge.

Yakult’s company philosophy is summed up by the slogan ‘working on a healthy society’. We support all sorts of activities in all sorts of places. Why? Because Yakult is part of a good lifestyle and we believe it is a good thing to be actively involved in society. A world of micro-organisms which is not just visible to scientists but to everyone fits in exactly with Yakult. That is why we are sponsoring Micropia."