This will be the the group’s sixth production plant in China, having started with its Guangzhou facility in 2002.
The company says that the Guangdong province is witnessing strong demand for its product in its central cities, but it also expects sales to rise in suburban areas as health awareness grows.
The Foshan plant is planned to be operational by March 2019, and will have the capacity to produce 1.2 million bottles of Yakult and Yakult Light per day.
Beverage maker Yakult Honsha Co. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will start an experimental project in fiscal 2017 to examine how probiotics work on human health in outer space.
Under the project, some crew members of the International Space Station will regularly consume capsules of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota, which is included in the company’s flagship Yakult drinks.
Yakult has developed a technology to freeze-dry the live bacteria and keep them in capsules at ordinary temperatures for as long as nine months. Capsules containing the bacteria will be carried on a U.S. unmanned vehicle to the ISS as early as this month.