After it successful run in the West Coast, Japanese probiotic drink maker, Yakult Honsha, is expanding its presence on the East Coast with the announcement of a new $305 million factory in the U.S. state of Georgia. The move is part of the company's strategic efforts to grow its US operations.
According to a press release from the State of Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp noted that “With a reliable logistics network that connects Georgia companies with markets across the world, we continue to attract world-class companies like Yakult U.S.A.,”.
The new facility, expected to commence operations in 2026, will be Yakult's second U.S. plant, following the successful launch of its first plant in California back in 2014.
Notably, this substantial investment underscores Yakult's commitment to meeting the growing demand for its flagship drink, Yakult, in the United States.
"We believe that the new facility will be the main supplier for eastern and central U.S. markets," stated Yutaka Misumi, President and CEO of Yakult U.S.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yakult Honsha.
The company’s President also expressed his delight in providing more opportunities for customers in the U.S. through the opening of this new location.
Yakult U.S.A. has been selling its regular and light versions of Yakult in the United States since its establishment in 1990. The company’s sales record has been impressive. For instance, its daily sales reached 632,000 bottles in 2022.
Moreover, the company's sales in the Americas, including its American and Mexican subsidiaries, accounted for 13% of total sales and 19% of operating profit in the fiscal year ended March 2023. Both the sales and operating income from overseas markets exceed 40%. Hence, this highlights the importance of the U.S. market for Yakult's global growth.
The new factory's location in Bartow County, Georgia, is strategically chosen to streamline logistics and distribution processes, facilitating better product fulfillment across the region. The project is expected to create more than 90 new jobs, providing a boost to the local economy.
Yakult's commitment to educating the public about probiotics and dairy product production will continue at the new facility. For instance, the company is known for offering free tours to visitors to promote awareness of the benefits of probiotics.
With its investment in the East Coast factory, Yakult aims to solidify its position as a leading probiotic beverage provider in the United States. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp welcomed the company's decision, praising the state's reliable logistics network that attracts world-class companies like Yakult U.S.A.