How often do you drink fermented milk products? graph of japanese opinionOver the first five days of March this year MyVoice looked at the consumption of lactic-acid bacilli-laden fermented milk drinks such as Yakult, Calpis or Labre, or just plain old drinking yoghurt.


16,032 members of their online community successfully completed the survey. 54% were female, 2% in their teens, 19% in their twenties, 39% in their thirties, 26% in their forties, and 14% in their fifites.

I drink low-fat (or is it low sugar? or both?) Yakult almost every morning, delivered door-to-door once a week. Whether or not it does me any good is debatable, it seems… On the other hand, they have the Tokuho mark on their bottles, which implies that it has passed some sort of testing of its claims in Japan.

Research results

Q1: How often do you drink fermented milk products? (Sample size=16,032)

Almost every day 9.7%
Three or four times a week 8.1%
Once or twice a week 16.3%
Few times a month 22.1%
Once a month 9.1%
Less than that 25.6%
Don’t drink at all 9.2%

Q2: Where do you buy these fermented milk products? (Sample size=fermented milk product drinkers, multiple answer)

Supermarket 72.7%
Convenience store 32.5%
Discount shop 9.1%
Co-operative 7.0%
Home or office delivery 6.6%
Vending machine 6.3%
Drug store, pharmacy 6.2%
School, office shop 1.7%
Railway kiosk 1.1%
Other 2.0%
Don’t buy them myself 8.2%
No answer 0.7%

Q3: At what times do you drink these fermented milk products? (Sample size=fermented milk product drinkers, up to three answers)

Breakfast 28.9%
When relaxing 28.1%
Snack time 27.6%
After bath 16.5%
When feeling unwell 10.3%
Whilst workig, studying, doing housework 8.3%
Lunch time 7.9%
Before bed 5.5%
Evening meal time 4.8%
Other 5.9%
No particular time 15.9%
No answer 1.1%

Q4: When buying fermented milk products, which of the following are important? (Sample size=fermented milk product buyers, up to three answers)

Taste, flavour 62.8%
Price 58.2%
Function, effect (to SQ) 36.9%
Quantity, size 24.7%
Ingredients 22.3%
Consume-by date 18.3%
Maker, brand 18.2%
Package design 3.8%
Friend’s opinion 3.4%
Container shape 2.8%
Advertising impression 2.2%
Other 1.0%
Nothing in particular 7.3%
No answer 0.2%

Q4SQ: Which functions or effects do you expect fermented milk products to have? (Sample size=those who find fermented milk product function important, multiple answer)

Improvement in stomach condition 75.3%
Laxative effect, improvement in bowel movements 53.8%
Strengthen immune system 47.6%
As a calcium supplement 33.2%
Improve resistance to allergies, lessen symptoms 23.8%
Prevent cancer 15.9%
Other 3.0%
No answer 0.6%

Note that Helicobacter pylori is strongly suspected of being a stomach cancer-causing agent by way of ulcers, and in fact Barry J. Marshall, the Nobel Prize-winning microbiologist who discovered the link between H. pylori and stomach ulcers, appears in television and print advertisements in Japan selling LG21 yoghurt drink that claims to fight pylori bacteria.


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