Yakult’s Healthy Growth in Indonesia
Yakult’s founder, Minoru Shirota, believed in preventive medicine and that a healthy gut leads to a long life. Guided by their founder’s principles and a passion to contribute to the health and happiness of people around the world, PT Yakult Indonesia Persada educates millions of Indonesians on the benefits of having good intestinal health.
“Our bodies absorb nutrition from the small intestines. It is important that we take care of them by having more good bacteria to keep ourselves healthy,”
“Every day, our factories receive more than 200 visitors to learn more about Yakult. Not so many factories are open to visitors. While in our factories, you can see the entire process of production,” Ueno added.
The company began manufacturing in Indonesia to serve the domestic market in 1991, but only a few years later it faced challenging times during the Asian financial crisis. Yakult Honsha Co. Ltd. made a strategic move to pursue operations in Indonesia and bought out all the shares of its Indonesian arm to make it a wholly owned subsidiary.
Recovery took some time but the company experienced a turning point in 2007 when it began to focus on further developing the iconic “Yakult Lady” to communicate directly and educate consumers.
There are currently 8,440 “Yakult Ladies” delivering fresh Yakult to homes across Indonesia every day. They are the company’s backbone, outperforming sales generated from retailers in 2017 with a contribution of over 50 percent.
“Every noon across all our offices, the Yakult ladies meet for 45 minutes to talk about various issues like how to improve the market conditions or how to best respond to customer queries and address their concerns,” shared Antonius Nababan, the company’s marketing communication and commercial director.
Among all the Yakult branches around the world, PT Yakult Indonesia Persada has the highest sales by volume. Their coverage allows them to reach 200 million potential consumers, yet only 2.6 percent, or over 5 million, consume Yakult daily. Ueno is confident that the number of daily consumers will increase.
“If our growth continues at this rate, sometime in the future we will have to consider expanding again. But more than our own growth, it is the health of the Indonesian people that is more important to us,” said Ueno.