What is Yakult, the Japanese drink featured on 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before'?

Korin Miller
A probiotic dairy drink from Japan called Yakult has sold out in stores nationwide after getting a mention in the teen romance movie ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.’ (Justin Chin/Bloomberg)

The teen romance movie, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, has been a breakout hit on Netflix. And apparently, it’s having an impact on a Japanese yogurt drink.

The drink is called Yakult and while it’s not called out by name in the movie, the main character’s sister can be seen offering a “Korean yogurt smoothie” to the covetable Peter Kavinsky that has the drink’s distinct red and white packaging. People started calling out the drink by name on Twitter and shares of the company’s stock, which dropped about six percent this year, climbed 2.6 percent since the movie was released on Aug. 17, Bloomberg reports.

The product placement seems to be drawing up feelings of nostalgia in some:


While Yakult is called a “yogurt smoothie” in the movie, it bills itself online as a “nonfat probiotic drink” that “when consumed daily may help balance your digestive system and maintain overall health.”

In general, “yogurt is milk that’s been fermented with bacteria,” Alissa Rumsey MS, RD, founder of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “A drinkable yogurt is the same, it’s just a thinner consistency.”

There are definitely some benefits to having a probiotic yogurt drink like Yakult, Gina Keatley, a CDN practicing in New York City, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Probiotics are generally good for us. They are bacteria that serve a variety of functions in our gut,” she says. “The probiotics in Yakult, lactobacillus casei, may help populate the gut with bacteria that helps to break down carbohydrates. Some studies have found that this bacteria increases the digestion of dairy products and may even help decrease upper respiratory infections.”

Yakult is a little more obscure in the U.S. than some other yogurt drinks on the market, but Siggi’s also makes a good option, Keatley says. Overall, yogurt drinks are “pretty healthy, although some may have a lot of added sugar,” Keatley says. Plus they’re really convenient when you’re on the go, Rumsey says.

If you’re looking for a good yogurt drink, Rumsey recommends making sure to “look for ones that have less added sugar and include probiotic strands in the ingredient list.” Other than that, it’s often a matter of personal taste. Even if your local store is sold out, you should be able to find Yakult somewhere near you — according to the website, it’s available in thousands of stores nationwide.

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