Yakult: The field of probiotics

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27th Apr 2017 Marketing Reference this

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Introduction

Yakult is a world pioneer in the field of probiotics. Yakult was born in 1930 and introduced in 1935 from a doctor’s research named Dr. Minoru Shirota, came from Kyoto University in Japan. Their research experience have been over 75 years. The bacterium of Yakult was called”Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain” (Yakult, 2010). Yakult Ace was started in Malaysia a few years ago in 2004. Yakult company which located in Seremban ,Negeri Sembilan was under Yakult Honsha,Japan and their Head Office is in Glenmarie, Shah Alam. Yakult branches offices are in Johor Bahru, Melaka, Penang, Kuantan, Ipoh, Seremban and Kota Bharu(Yakult, 2010). Nowadays, Yakult has spread over the world, and became 28 million people’s favourite from 32 countries and regions (Yakult, 2010). There are two types of Yakult such as Yakult Ace and Yakult Ace Light (Yakult, 2010).

Product analysis

Core benefit

Yakult is the best choice for getting a good health because Yakult is free of preservatives, stabilizers and colouring (Yakult, 2010). . Over 30 billion more Shirota strain live in each bottle because Yakult has the highest concentrations of probiotics which mostly contain 1 to 10 billion live probiotic bacteria per serving on the market. (Yakult , 2010)

Actual product

Yakult has high quality level after Shirota strain proven that it has been shown that is beneficial to human’s health because of the strongest bacteria. In Japan, Yakult has their own popular brand name which is admitted by the Japanese Ministry of Health as a “Food for Specified Health Usages”. Yakult also approved by health claim “The Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain reaches the intestines alive, so this product maintains good health by decreasing the harmful bacteria, increasing the good bacteria and improving the intestinal environment” (Yakult, 2010).

Augmented product

Yakult has additional customer service which is home delivery service. Information and advantages of drinking Yakult also will be told to the customers (Yakult, 2010). There are few website having plenty of information for us to search easily (Yakult, 2010).

Convenience product

Convenience product defines to customer can buy the product easily, frequently and quickly. (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009). Yakult is a convenience product because it can easily get at all major shopping centre, hypermarkets and stores throughout peninsular Malaysia. For example, we can buy Yakult in Jusco, Seremban. Yakult has home delivery service by Yakult Ladies to deliver to consumers. This service is free of charge but only available in certain areas (Yakult, 2010)

Raw materials

Yakult contains two types of flavorings such as natural flavorings and ‘nature-identical’ flavorings which are natural citrus fruit and vanilla. The purposes of the flavorings are to make sure a consistent flavor when fermentation process are processing. Nature- identical flavorings are synthetic flavorings produced to be same with nature (Yakult, 2010).

A solution of skim milk powder, sugar and water treated by ultra-heat, then use Shirota strain which is fermented using our special live good bacteria. Then adds Syrup, vitamins, calcium and flavors before Yakult being bottled and packaged (Yakult, 2010).

‘Lactobacillus casei Shirota’ is the most important ingredient in Yakult and over 30 billion of the active Shirota strain is included in each bottle of Yakult (Yakult, 2010).

An 80 ml bottle of Yakult Ace contains:

– Water

– Sugar (Sucrose)

– Skimmed milk powder

– Glucose

– Calcium lactate

– Permitted flavors

– Niacin (Vitamin B3)

– Vitamin B6

– Vitamin B12

– Vitamin D

Product attributes

Quality

Yakult can help in prevent diarrhea, constipation and balance our bowel movement. Yakult also help in balancing of good and bad bacteria in our intestines. Production of toxins in our body will also reduce. Moreover, Yakult will improve our body’s immunity, risk of infections and reoccurrence of cancer cell will be reduced (Yakult, 2010).

Quality consistency

HALAL

The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) gives Yakult factory in Malaysia a halal’s certificate for all Yakult products (Yakult, 2010).

HACCP

since 2006 Moody International awarded the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification to the Yakult factory. The system is recognized by globalization and approved as a professional system for food safety (Yakult, 2010).

Feature

Yakult is a free of preservatives, stabilizers and colorless drink. Additionally, Yakult does not contain cholesterol and it is fat free. It is contains about 63 kcal in each bottle of Yakult Ace, same as an apple. The reason to add sugar is to keep bacteria alive during shelf life. The sour taste of Yakult is due to the high concentration of good bacteria are put inside during fermentation. The lactic acid is produced to prevent it become more sour and suitable for us to drink (Yakult, 2010).Yakult has a low Glycemic Index (GI) because the sugar in Yakult enters the blood step by step and does not increase blood glucose levels (Yakult, 2010).Yakult also has the strongest strains of good bacteria such as Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain which other products do not have these bacteria. (Karen Flores, abs-cbnNEWS.com, 2010)

Style and design

Yakult has a special package which is smaller size compared to others product and easily to recognize (Yakult, 2010).

A smaller size bottle is more hygienic because to prevent high risk of infection by other bacteria. One bottle Yakult can keep people stay healthy so they do not need a bigger bottle. (Flores , 2010). To make customer’s convenience, Yakult’s straw is beside the bottle (Yakult, 2010).

Packaging

Yakult packaging is 5-packs into group and wrapped by polypropylene. They have a small size of Yakult because it is convenience for everyone to enjoy Yakult anytime as part of a balanced diet. Besides, a smaller bottle is more safe compared to a big bottle because of a larger bottle will get infection easily with other bacteria if it is kept open. (Yakult, 2010).

Labeling

Each bottle is wrapped by labels before filled in Yakult. Yakult’s labeling will record the ingredient and the functions. This is to send a clearly information to customers (Yakult, 2010).

Product line depth

Yakult are 5-packs into group and wrapped by polypropylene before sell to customers and the price will different regarding to the market (Yakult, 2010).Yakult has two versions such as Yakult Ace and Yakult Ace Light. Yakult Ace is premium version of the cultured milk drink and available in worldwide. It has higher of beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus casei Shirota and contains another nutrients such as calcium, niacin and vitamins B6, B12 and D. Same as Yakult Ace, Yakult Ace Light which is latest product has same function and beneficial bacteria but with less sugar , a lighter and sweet taste about 50%. Then, Yakult Ace Light also free fats, cholesterol, non-coloring, preservatives, stabilizers and conditioners same with Yakult Ace. (Yakult, 2010).

Branding strategy

Billions of Lactobacillus casei Shirota bacteria which are in Yakult are strong to produce the acid in stomach to the intestine. (YAKULT , n.d.). Yakult is a manufacturer’s brand because Yakult sells the product by their own brands which come from their own factory. (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009). With line extensions, its occur when a company extends existing brand names to new forms, colors, sizes, ingredients, or flavors of an existing product category. (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009). Yakult has created new flavor such as Yakult Ace Light which is less 50% sugar than Yakult Ace. Both of them have billions of Lactobacillus casei Shirota bacteria and does not have any coloring substances(Yakult, 2010).

Pricing

Product line pricing

Product line is including of a group of products with the same characteristics. The common factors of product line pricing are to share the same production cost. Moreover, it is a way of market the product which rivals the competitor in the same field (Westburn Publishers Ltd, 2002). For example, Yakult has two main products which are Yakult Ace and Yakult Ace Light. Yakult Ace is a primary version of the standard culture milk in worldwide. Yakult (2010) stated that Yakult Ace has a higher concentration of the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus casei Shirota (3 times more!) and contains added nutrients: calcium, niacin and vitamins B6, B12 and D. Meanwhile, Yakult Ace light is the latest product by Yakult which 50% less sugar and less sweet taste. (Yakult, 2010).

Pricing strategies

Many businesses use a psychological way to price their product or service. It is a useful strategy because many buyers use price to judge the quality of a product. To buyers, high price is equivalent to high quality while low price is equal to low value. This pricing strategy shows that buyers are seldom rounded a figure because they feel that they are getting a cheaper price when this pricing strategy is used (Voice marketing Inc., 2002). For example, Jusco Seremban 2 has used this type of pricing especially for Yakult product.

This picture is taken at Jusco Seremban 2. (11 Nov 2010)

As you can see in the picture above, this show that Yakult Ace is cost RM3.99 while Yakult Ace Light is cost RM4.50.

Uniformed delivery pricing

Uniformed delivery pricing is includes transportation costs and other costs until they deliver the good to customer. There are two types of uniformed delivery pricing which are single zone pricing and multi zone pricing. Single zone pricing is customers pay the same delivered price nor matter how far they stay. Meanwhile, multi-zone pricing where a geographic area is divided into parts according to the distance from the seller’s place. The price they charged is different when is in the different zone while the price is remained the same within the selected zone. (WebFinance, 2010) Yakult has chosen single zone pricing. For example, Yakult has the home delivery service system in year 2007. “Yakult Ladies” deliver the Yakult to the housing area right to the customer doorstep. This type of delivery is free however it is only available in certain area. (Yakult, 2010).

They deliver to Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Seremban, Penang, Johor and Perak only. The Yakult ladies are well trained. Normally they are housewives who want to work part time job to earn some extra income, while sharing the health knowledge with their neighbors. They work hard to deliver to customers’ door step without affecting by the weather. There are about 300 Yakult ladies to deliver Yakult (Yakult, 2010).

Retail price maintenance

Resale price maintenance is the effect of the rules that insisted by a manufacturer on wholesale or retail reseller of its own products. This is to prevent them from competing too over on price. The manufacturer will do this is to keep the resellers profitable. (about.com, 2010)

For example, Jusco gives a 5% discount to the member who wants to buy Yakult. The original price is RM3.99, after discount is RM3.80. Discount means something that is sell below it normal price. (Investorwords.com, 2010)

Downstream partner

According to Microsoft (2010) stated that downstream partner is the partner that receives change order, files and folders. There are two types of Yakult which are Yakult Ace and Yakult Ace Light. Both of these drinks are available at all supermarkets, hypermarkets and stores around peninsular Malaysia (Yakult, 2010). The supermarkets and Hypermarkets in Malaysia are Carrefour, Giant, Jusco and so on. (BuddySurvey4u, 2007).

Place analysis

Yakult company which located in Seremban ,Negeri sembilan in Malaysia is under Yakult Honsha, Japan. Their head office is in Glenmatie, Shah Alam and branch offices in Johor Bahru, Melaka,Penang,Kuantan ,Ipoh,Seremban and Kota Bharu. (Yakult,2010)

Place strategies

Factory capacity

High quality ingredients are contained in Yakult drink in Malaysia. They maintain the highest qualities during the process making Yakult to ensure drink yield will close to 99%. Yakult are sold in whole of Malaysian and their factory is located in The Yakult factory in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan . (yakult,2010)

There is a great ways to ensure Yakult factory has a good communication with consumer who are interested in Yakult and can get latest information quickly. So, glass is used on Yakult production’s walls to ensure consumer can see the structure of the company clearly and they can view the process step by step from lobby on the first floor. (Yakult,2010)

Firm raw materials

Before produce Yakult, some of ingredient are needed to prepare such as :

An 80 ml bottle of Yakult Ace also contains:

– Water

– Sugar (Sucrose)

– Skimmed milk powder

– Glucose

– Calcium lactate

– Permitted flavours

– Niacin (Vitamin B3)

– Vitamin B6

– Vitamin B12

– Vitamin D

Product make and sell

This process show how Yakult produced. Some of sample of Yakult will collected during production process to confirm their quality.

Yakult ladies are provided to consumer started in 2007 and their services are free of charge but only in certain places.

PROMOTION

Promotion is communication used by marketers to inform and persuade potential buyers of a product so as to elicit positive response and influence their opinion on the said product (Lamb, Hair, McDaniel, n.d.) For instance, people who are initially uncertain regarding a particular product will finally purchase the product after knowing further information on it and are persuaded that the product is good. As for Yakult, potential buyers may not know about intestinal bacteria in the digestive system, unwillingness to discuss ’embarrassing’ body functions, and they also had a negative reaction towards the term ‘bacteria’ and the idea of consuming it. Despite these hurdles, there was a strong acceptance of the product once Yakult’s concept of ‘beneficial bacteria for intestinal balance’ was explained.

Promotional mix is applied to gain the target market and accomplish the organization’s overall goals (tutor2u, n.d.) Promotional mix consist of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and public relations. Yakult has embarked on a fully integrated marketing campaign, which incorporated multi media advertising and extensive in-store sampling.

Promotion strategy is the plan for using the elements of promotion that is; advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and public relation to meet the firm’s overall objective and marketing goals. The promotional plan then becomes a coordinated promotional plan. The promotional plan then becomes an integral part of the total marketing strategy for reaching the target market, along with product, distribution, and price (Lamb, Hair, McDaniel, n.d.)

Advertising

It is important for every company to develop an advertising strategy; this is to corresponded ideas regarding the products and services to possible consumers in the hope of convincing them to purchase those products and services (enotes, 2010). In its advertising, Yakult has developed very effective advertising strategy by appealing to consumers who are very health conscious. The creative concept used is that Yakult helps in promoting health by introducing beneficial bacteria for intestinal balance of consumers which ultimately leads to good health. For an advisement to be appealing it has to be meaningful, believable and, distinctive. Yakult’s main advertising target is major household buyers (google doc, n.d.).

Yakult’s tagline is “Every body. Every day” is profoundly creative having the underlying concept of telling people that Yakult is for every body (kids to adults or healthy or sick) and it can be consumed everyday if desired. Other impressive taglines include “Get the Goodness in You, Have you had yours today? Made Fresh in Australia”

Yakult has chosen well its advertising media by using media that has wide circulation and impact such as through newspaper, television and also magazines related to health and healthy lifestyles.

Sales Promotion

Another promotion strategy used by Yakult is through sales promotion. Sales promotions are short-term incentives to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service. Sales promotions are often targeted to a particular segment of the population. This type of promotion strategy is growing rapidly in recent years with the escalating cost of advertising.

In the case for Yakult, it has targeted its sales promotion to consumers, major supermarkets and right down to retailers. Yakult has increased its market share in the consumer market by appealing to school children and parents who like the concept of `family pack’. In trade promotions, Yakult has obtained extensive distribution and shelf space in major supermarkets. Consumers have easy access to the Yakult product because it is sold in fresh market sections in major superstores in Malaysia, like Giant, Jaya Jusco, Parkson, Carrefour and Tesco.

Public relations

Public relation tools are news, speeches, buzz marketing, corporate identity materials, mobile marketing, special events, writing materials, audiovisual materials, public service activities, and internet (Lamb, Hair, McDaniel, n.d.).

Yakult has developed good public relations by obtaining favourable publicity, building up a good corporate image, and having close association with school authorities and teachers by facilitating school visits to its factory site. Good public relations can be powerful brand-building tool. School children who participated in `study tours’ to Yakult factory will be exposed to educational and very convincing information: such as the power of beneficial `shirota’ bacteria found in the Yakult drink that can maintain good health, and was used as early as after World War 2 to overcome diseases that was widespread in Japan.

Social marketing

Social marketing is one of the way to commercial their product and services by doing promotion to promote to the costumers’ and also the society well being (businessdictionary.com, 2010). For example, Yakult factory available their nutritionists to give a health talks about good bacteria at every school or organization in the Klang Valley to ensure more peoples get the information about Yakult and enjoy Yakult (Yakult, 2010).

Conclusion

Yakult has became 28 million people’s favourite from 32 countries and regions. Yakult created by Dr Minoru Shirota. He had been doing researches for 75years, finally created a bacterium named”Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain”. This bacterium contains over 30 billion more shirota live in each bottle. Moreover, Yakult products are proven as a professional system for food safety. Besides, Yakult Ace only sells RM3.99, while Yakult Ace Light sells RM4.50. It is cheap and convenience for customers. Additionally, Yakult has done a lot of promotion to promote their products and also contribute to environment.

Yakult Company should use variety ways to promote their product so that they can contribute health and happiness to their customers. First way to promote Yakult is to make promotion through internet. It allows all the internet users see the benefit of Yakult drink. To fully utilize the online media, Yakult Company can construct a fan page at Facebook to keep in touch with their customers. Moreover, they can create some interesting games which related to the body health, so indirectly deliver the information to the players.

Next is to do the TV commercial. Currently, Yakult has television commercial but is not enough. They should create some interesting commercial to attract children and their parents to buy Yakult product. For example, Yakult Company is encouraged to use more colorful and moving graphic to promote their product which can attract to the teenagers.

Yakult Company should produce few more types of flavors to attract children to try Yakult products. Moreover, with this strategy can also compete with the competitor Vitagen. As a conclusion, consume Yakult drink everyday can make us stay healthy and to prevent fall sick. Moreover, it is good for our digestive system to prevent constipation.

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