Sure, this macrobiotic milk drink is made in Japan. And apparently it is available in the U.S., though I’d never seen it.
But the reason I tried it yesterday, Day 138 of my Brazilian experiment, is because my student told me about how popular it is in Brazil (and my Brazilian husband confirmed that it is very “Brazilian” for those of you who might debate it – you know who you are…)
It also has an interesting history here in Brazil from a business perspective, again, told by my students as well as a little research I did. Yakult’s main means of distribution was direct sales (you know, like Avon) and their target Yakult contractors were women. For about a decade, this method of marketing made up 65% of sales in Brazil. Women would come from the country-side and load up on the drink, and then sell, literally, door-to-door in their towns.
I bought my Yakult in a package of 80g bottles. It is very sweet but is supposed to be good for digestion and has a yogurty taste. Not bad. But with all the new yogurt products on the market that aid digestion, without the intense sugar content, I wonder how long Yakult, in this format, will survive.