Yakult — the probiotic drink enjoyed by Singaporean kids (and adults too) — is receiving a sudden surge in popularity in places where folks would have never heard of the brand. And it’s all because of a sweet teen rom-com that came out on Netflix without much fanfare.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has proven to be a surprise worldwide hit, loved for its candy-coated, genuinely earnest take on teen romance — a well-crafted flick that takes all the usual trappings of ‘90s teen movies and brings them into the modern age. The movie is based on a series of best-selling young adult novels by Jenny Han, the premise of which revolves around a sixteen-year-old half-Korean, half-Caucasian girl who has to deal with the consequences of having her secret love letters sent out to her past crushes.
How Yakult plays into the movie is that the teen’s eventual love interest starts having a liking for a “Korean yogurt smoothie” that gets offered to him. The drink isn’t mentioned by name, but eagle-eyed viewers familiar with the distinct packaging (the little bottle with red foil) immediately knew what it is: Yakult.
Yakult Shortage never happened in an Asian Country before, as far as I know. But today, my fave dairy drink is sold out in two stores. I blame you Peter K! ✌ #ToAllTheBoysIveLovedBefore @Netflix_PH @NetflixAsia @netflix pic.twitter.com/sGLvTEWS7D
— Alyssa (@ItsMariaAlyssa) August 22, 2018
Nevermind that it’s not actually a Korean product — the brand is Japanese, launched by microbiologist Minoru Shirota in 1935 to sell beverages containing a strain of lactic acid bacteria that helps to contain the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. Other trivia about Yakult: It comes in small bottles to avoid contamination, and Singapore is the only country that gets Yakult in orange, grape and apple flavors.
According to a Bloomberg report, the appearance of Yakult in the Netflix movie has pushed the brand name into mainstream consciousness. In addition to the spike in “mention frequency”, shares of Yakult Honsha Co. have climbed about 2.6 percent since the movie was released. The Guardian reported the emergence of Yakult-inspired stickers on Etsy, while Yakult fan art even appeared up for sale.
we asian kids been knew about yakult, y’all been sleepin on this shit pic.twitter.com/uXvh938WIa
— (@xovmonique) September 4, 2018
I admit, I bought a couple of packs this past month after watching #ToAllTheBoysIveLoveBefore. But I grew up on this stuff in Taiwan. It used to get regularly delivered to my home like milk.
H/t @jennyhan https://t.co/ZKJ5fLumgd
— Nancy Wang Yuen (@nancywyuen) September 3, 2018
white people discovering the johnny johnny rhyme and now yakult 2018 is the year of asian representation https://t.co/JtTT4Mk2wk
— rith (@notearstori) September 4, 2018
Over here, Yakult has always been a staple in most households across Singapore (unless you’re Team Vitagen). So much so that a local dad was ridiculed for his irrational complaint when a supermarket ran out of Yakult.
The post Yakult is apparently flying off the shelves overseas thanks to Netflix hit ‘All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ appeared first on Coconuts.