BRAZIL – Japanese probiotic milk company Yakult has announced plans to invest BRL 60 million ( US$12m) in the modernization of its industrial complex located in São Paulo, Brazil.  

The project will involve the renovation of machinery and the replacement of others in order to achieve greater production efficiency.  

A major portion of the investment (US$4m) will be used to replace six stainless steel tanks — two of 16,000 liters and four of 24,000 liters — and to improve the sewage pipes. 

The company also plans to install new gutters for sanitary drainage and enhance the hygiene and distribution network.  

The remainder of the funds will be channeled to the expansion and elevation of the right foot of the raw material mixing section for the production of fermented milks, among other changes.  

“We are making a considerable investment for yet another important modernization of our factory because we have great confidence in Brazil”, the President of Yakult in Brazil, Atushi Nemoto noted.  

Modernization of factory works comes at a time when the probiotics yogurt market is experiencing modest growth.  

According to Euromonitor, the probiotics market moved R$ 5.99 billion (US$1.20 billion) in 2021 and is expected to post an annual growth rate of 5.2% for the period from 2021 to 2026.  

The growth of this market is mainly attributed to the growing consumer awareness regarding the health benefits of probiotic-induced foods, the increasing use of probiotics as an alternative to antibiotics, and the growing research progress on probiotics. 

Furthermore, the growing use of probiotics in infant feeding and the growth in e-commerce is expected to create lucrative opportunities for players operating in this market. 

In Brazil, Yakult is the second in the probiotic yogurt segment, with a 14.1% share, ahead of Nestle and behind market leader Danone.  

The factory complex in Lorena was inaugurated in 1999 and has already received R$150 million (US$30m) in investments since the first expansion, carried out in 2013. 

Production in Lorena supplies the Brazilian and Uruguayan markets, and the factory employs 450 people.  

The complex produces Yakult, Sofyl, Yakult 40, Yakult 40 light fermented milk, Tonyu soy-based drink, Yodel fermented milk drink, Yakult apple juice and Hiline F and Taffman-EX food supplements.  

The Japanese based company ended the first nine months of fiscal 2021, which started in April, with revenue of 316.5 billion yen (US$2.75 billion, based on today’s price), and growth of 106.9% compared to same range as in 2020.  

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