Yakult lovers, unite! In this round of our review series, our writer shares his experience touring Yakult Singapore’s factory and discovering plenty of fascinating facts about this beloved probiotic drink.
Are you Team Yakult? If you are, we’ve got exciting news – Yakult Singapore has resumed physical tours of its factory! This tiny but mighty cultured milk drink is one of our favourite beverages, so when we received an invitation to tour its premises… obviously we said yes without hesitation!
How to get to Yakult Singapore
Yakult’s factory is located at 7 Senoko Avenue. If you’re uncertain where that is, don’t worry – you’re definitely not alone! The closest train station is Sembawang on the North-South Line, after which you transfer to bus service 856 for a 15-minute ride. Depending on where you’re coming from, the journey can take up to two hours. If you’re planning to go there via your own transport, do note that the factory has limited parking spaces.
What takes place during the tour
The 1.5-hour tour is split into two parts: a presentation conducted by the brand’s public relations staff, followed by a walkabout of the factory. Tour participants are first ushered into the Presentation Room on the second floor, where the ever-familiar Yakult is waiting for us. (When we were there, the original flavour was given to us. If you’re not into that flavour, perhaps you can try your luck at getting a different one?)
Part one: Yakult presentation
The 45-minute presentation covers a lot of ground about the company and its offerings. From the discovery of good bacteria L. casei strain Shirota to the size and shape of the Yakult bottle, there are many intriguing things one will learn throughout the presentation. Here are some cool things that we found out:
- Do you notice there’s sediment at the bottom of the bottle? Those are nutrients that have sunk over time. That’s why it’s recommended that consumers give their Yakult bottle a shake before drinking. So, shake it like a Polaroid picture!
- There’s also a method to open the bottle! All you have to do is lift the edges of the aluminium tab until they lie flat, firmly hold your Yakult bottle, and pull the foil cleanly off.
The presentation also introduces Yakult Man, a “friend of the tummy” and the brand’s newest mascot. Yakult Man answers all questions related to the cultured milk drink through an adorable and entertaining video series.
Part two: Factory tour
After the presentation, you’ll be brought on a tour around the factory. This is where we witnessed how Yakult is made. No one is allowed into the factory to prevent contamination and accidents; instead, we viewed the goings-on through the glass-walled viewing gallery.
The manufacturing process is an extensive one that involves four different tanks, hot and cold temperatures, and fermentation. The L.casei strain Shirota, syrup, sterilised water, flavours, and colouring are added at select points throughout the process.
On the other side, the bottle moulding machine produces the iconic Yakult bottles. Psst, over 7,000 bottles are moulded per hour! The empty bottles are then printed with the logo, filled, and sealed with aluminium foil before being sorted.
Anything else to look out for?
For sure! It’s not hard to miss the large-scale artworks on the first and second floors, which showcase the main component of Yakult and the brand’s long history. There’s also a giant map at the entrance that shows the countries that sell the probiotic drink. Underneath the map is the various sizes that Yakult comes in. Another fun fact: our Yakult is the largest compared to the other countries!
The highlight of the factory tour is the real-life appearance of Yakult Man! Our tour group took turns taking photos and videos with the adorable mascot. It was a sweet end to Yakult Singapore’s factory tour.
What’s our verdict?
Well, this is deffo a no-brainer – go for it! Location notwithstanding, it’s a great couple of hours learning about Yakult and getting a glimpse of how the beloved cultured milk drink is made. Plus, at the end of the factory tour, you’ll receive a small gift. Score!
The free physical factory tour takes place from Mondays to Fridays (excluding public holidays). There are two sessions to choose from if you plan to attend during the non-school holidays. A mid-session is added during the school holiday period. A minimum of 20 persons is required to commence the tour. Interested parties can arrange for a factory by calling 6257 7882 or emailing [email protected].
Yakult (Singapore) Pte Ltd, 7 Senoko Avenue, Singapore 758300
Time to dabble in the Yakult and take part in this factory tour!