What Is Yakult and Why Is It So Popular?

This one goes out to all the boys we've loved before.

New Delhi, India - October 31, 2013: Japanese probiotic drink Yakult isolated on a black studio background.


New Delhi, India - October 31, 2013: Japanese probiotic drink Yakult isolated on a black studio background.

Photo by: HarjeetSinghNarang


Thanks to Netflix’s latest rom-com, Yakult, my favorite childhood yogurt drink, is buzzing. Since its August 17 release, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has gained a cult following, a petition for a sequel and ... helped boost a yogurt drink company’s stock prices? Believe it. Love might not be dead, after all.

In the film, sister of protagonist Lara Jean offers Peter Kavinsky, the guy everyone’s been freaking out about, a “Korean yogurt smoothie.” Although the exact brand of the drink is never mentioned, viewers were quick to notice the little bottle’s bright red foil top and determine that it had to be none other than Yakult, a probiotic yogurt drink produced by a Japanese company. It’s made by fermenting skim milk with a particular strain of bacteria, Lactobacillus casei, and results in a distinct sweet citrusy flavor. Even though a single serving size is just one bottle, I used to finish entire five-packs of these as a kid during dinner.

According to Bloomberg, Yakult’s “mention frequency” has spiked on social media thanks to curious viewers who have never tried it as well as viewers who have loved it their whole lives. Due to this surge in brand awareness, shares of the company’s stock have increased by 2.6 percent* only weeks after the film started streaming on everyone’s laptops.

Talk about some serious — but totally unintentional — product placement.

Editor’s note: Share prices may have changed since date of publication.

Photo: iStock

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