Yakult Danone's Haryana facility inaugurated

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Sonepat, Jan 18 (UNI) Yakult Danone India (YDI) today inaugurated its manufacturing facility at Rai Food Park (Haryana) with an investment of Rs 136 crore.

A 50:50 JV between Yakult Honsha of Japan and French food giant Groupe Danone, the company had launched its drink Yakult from its global portfolio of probiotic products in December last year.

Danone has already received a clearance for this JV from the Britannia.

The company also plans to invest an additional Rs 100 crore to streamline distribution, marketing and brand promotion activities over the next 3-4 years.

The product has a shelf life of 30 days, but the firm is not looking at exports currently.

''The current capacity of the plant is 73,000 bottles, which will be increased to a million bottles a day,'' said YDI Managing Director Kiyoshi Oike.

The company aims to sell one lakh bottles a day in 2008-09, Mr Oike said, adding that in the next phase the drink would be introduced in other metros, while mini-metros across north India would be targeted next year.

The product has been priced at Rs 10 a bottle or Rs 50 for a pack of five bottles.

''Though the market for probiotics food in India is still at a nascent stage, health consciousness among Indian consumers is growing at a healthy pace. As pioneers and the global leaders in this category we will play a major role in developing the probiotics food market in India,'' said Mr Oike.

The company will be retailing the product through supermarkets and stores with good cold storage facility. It will also introduce the concept of 'Yakult Ladies,' who go door-to-door and help consumers understand the health benefits of our products.

''We have about 50,000 'Yakult Ladies' in Japan and 33,000 in other overseas markets. We are introducing this unique system in India as well. At present we have 30 such employees in Delhi, which will be increased to about 500 by the end of 2008,'' Mr Oike said.

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