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Yakult Danone India seeks to expand probiotic market; M&C Saatchi to handle creative duties of Yakult

20-December-2007
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Yakult Danone India seeks to expand probiotic market; M&C Saatchi to handle creative duties of Yakult

After probiotic dahi, now comes a probiotic drink. Yakult Danone India has launched its probiotic drink Yakult in India and has appointed M&C Saatchi as its creative partner for the new launch. M&C Saatchi bagged the account following a multi-agency pitch.

Yakult Danone is a 50:50 JV between Japan’s Yakult Honsha and France’s Group Danone. Yakult is one of the largest selling global probiotic drinks, selling more than 2.5 crore bottles a day in 30 countries and regions, with a consolidated turnover of $2.5 billion. The parent company Yakult Honsha has been a pioneer in probiotics products since 1935, especially food and beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Confirming the news, Rupin Jayal, Strategic Planning Director, M&C Saatchi, said, “Yakult Danone is a respected and recognised name globally and to work on their account will be a challenge as we have to create a new category for this probiotic digestive drink in India, where the concept of probiotic drink is relatively unknown.”

Without divulging the account size, Jayal said, “We will look after the company’s mass media campaigns, BTL activities, events, ground level promotions and their retail visibility.”

Yakult Danone India has set up a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Rai Food Park, Haryana, at an initial investment of Rs 139 crore.

Kiyoshi Oike, Managing Director, Yakult Danone India, said, “Living up to our philosophy of offering products that contribute to the health and well being of citizens across the globe, we are now pleased to launch Yakult in India. The product is being made available in Delhi and the NCR, and in the next phase we plan to introduce the product in other metros.” Commenting on their marketing strategy, Oike said, “As Indian consumers are still not aware of the healthy benefits of probiotic, educating the consumers will be the key role in developing the probiotic market. Yakult’s unique home delivery system through ‘Yakult ladies’ will play a critical role in building awareness. We have also tied up with 150 retail outlets across Delhi. We will be doing sampling in schools, corporates and hospitals. We are targeting SEC ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘B+’ sections of the society in metros and mini-metros among all age groups.”

Marcel Bertaud, Director, Yakult Danone India, said, “Owing to the immense health benefits of the category, there is a huge demand for probiotics food products globally, with a market size of $14 billion. We are expecting to sell around one lakh bottles everyday and within 4-5 years we want to increase our sales to 4-5 lakh bottles everyday.”

So far, the only probiotic product available in India is curd, with the two major players being Nestle and Mother Dairy. Yakult is a milk-based probiotic drink.

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