Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Yakult dilemma

Yakult+London+TescoIt was never much of a choice between Yakult and Vitagen for me. For the unintiated, the branding tussle between between Vitagen and Yakult can be compared to that between Pepsi and Coke - in that order.

Compared to Yakult, Vitagen tastes like a just another sugared cultured drink. Fine, Yakult is essentially a bacteria filled solution sweetened to a fault. Then again, it usually come with those collectible stickers and that got me hooked as a kid.

There is, however, a fundamental difference between that sold over here in London as compared to back home.

The ones sold in Singapore (and I think Malaysia) comes in packs of five. Over here in London, they come in packs of seven. Granted, each bottle is bigger in those packs of five (80ml) as compared to 65ml bottle in those seven bottle packs.
Er... sorry, no alcohol for you
Urinal on London streets
The five bottle packs cost S$2.70 each (£1.23) and the seven bottle packs retail at £2.68 (as shown above) over here in London. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Londoners are overpaying for their Yakult by quite a bit - by a whopping 48%!

That's not the question that I have in mind though. Have you ever wondered why those sold here in London comes in packs of seven whereas those sold back home come in packs of five?

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Beth said...

I used to drink Yakult everyday when I was still in the Philippines.. I love it, and I miss it!

Martin In Bulgaria said...

What's the recipe? Surely you can make your own at a fraction of the cost.

Jack - eyeflare travel said...

I would guess the pack size is because they're marketed as a 'one a day' item here in London, so 1 pack would last you a week on that schedule.

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lina said...

So that consumer can buy a week's worth in one pack?

When I was small, I was quite ga-ga over Vitagen's stickers. No more stickers now. & Son drinks yakult. Used to buy them by the plastic bag loads at school too.

Dutchie said...

Not my kind of drink coz it taste weird to me. Prefer to hv fruit n milk combo. Cost only 65ct per liter ! Our biggest dairy company made sure that consumers r aware of the big price difference when deciding on a product with the same effects.

Speaking of multi packaging, I would hv preferred it to be less, otherwise we ended up consuming more than is necessary. Not sure if Sg is heading that way ?

SheR. said...

7 ..one a day for the British.
Sg drink one on every weekday.. weekends off. :P

yanjie said...

someone's been shopping at waitrose!

I have the same question when I look at rice packaging (500g packs? cook for one person ah?) and instant noodles (individual packet or a big box of 30, not in packs of 5) here in London

Anonymous said...

Not sure about why 7x in a pack - 7x days a week? Just wanted to say we are just back from Singapore (doing blog catchup now) & had a chance to have Yakult - yummy!! Also had Vitagen. i'm definitely a Yakult person! About the sugar - the Vitagen packing in Singapore now states it's less sugar?

McAlpine said...

I'm surprised to see this drink in other countries. Nice.

Emm said...

7 days in a week! Isn't Waitrose notoriously expensive?

FĂ«anor said...

I say again, folks, what you really need is kumyss!

C K said...

Why stop now? Isn't Yakult sold over at your end now?

Make it on my own? I don't think so. Brewing such bacteria culture drink can be pretty messy... and smelly too.

That's what I thought as well. But what about those sold in Asia? :p

Credits sent over! Congrats!

If I'm not wrong, if you buy enough, you can actually get them delivered to your home directly.

Does Raimie have a preference for Yakult over Vitagen?

Fruit and milk combo? Is that a bacteria culture as well? BUt it does sound really cheap to me. Then again, that's hardly surprising coming from a dairy producing country such as the NL.

Talking about smaller packaging. Do you realise that most house brands usually come in bigger packs (but not necessarily cheaper) as compared to other brands? To me, it's a waste even if I go for the larger pack and can't finish it. :)

That's what wife suggested as well. It just doesn't make sense, does it?

Waitrose? Hey, that's Tesco! :p

I think the smallest pack that one can find back home is 1kg. I guess over here in London, rice is not taken as a staple. Also, people tend to stay alone over here as well.

Then again, if you're looking for larger packs, you can always head towards Leicester Sq and cart the 5kg pack back! heheh...

Really? It still tasted the same to me. Maybe my tolerance for sugar has gone down over the years.

Have you ever done a blind test for Yakult and Vitagen? I wonder whether we can actually taste the difference...

If I'm not wrong, Yakult is a Japanese drink. I wouldn't be surprised if it's popular in Asia.

Hey, who saying anything about Waitrose? lol

Hey pal, you just can't stop harping about kumyss, can you? haha...

Oh btw, I love your new blog layout. It looks smashing. Just wondering why you're not using Tower Bridge instead?

yanjie said...


That's Waitrose lah, and their price commitment thingy, where they benchmark their prices against other supermarkets.


Waitrose is not as expensive as it is believed to be. I live near a Waitrose and Tesco Express, so I usually compare prices between these two. The nearest Sainsbury is at least 40 minutes walk away, so that's out of my shopping range.

But most of the veggies, eggs, milk and housebrand stuff are bench marked against other supermarkets. Some of the things are actually cheaper than the nearby Tesco Express. If it is more expensive, it is usually just a few p more only. It gives me savings in the long run actually, especially when I buy things for one person only, cause the quality is so good, my veggies are still in great condition even one week after the "display till" date.

I hardly buy meat though, but the few times I compared prices for chicken parts, Waitrose is usually a pound or so more expensive. But that's for free range though, compared to battery chickens of Tesco.

::karinuslai:: said...

you want to do tesco metro. the expresses are essentially the mama-papa shops that've been bought up by tescos and they charge at the mom&pop prices.

Cashmere said...

I personally prefers Vitagen than Yakult cos Yakult leaves this slimy thingy in your throat and I hate that. Pepsi is my choice too cos it's sweeter. Believe it or not, I can differentiate their tastes.. ;)

4malmal said...

I think Yakult came before Vitagen..I remember drinking yakult when I was a kid and vitagen only later..hmm maybe I am wrong.
I wonder where are these yakult made. I can't find yakult and vitagen when I was in the States. Only cultured drinks made in korea.
Anyway, I am glad to find your site :D

Anonymous said...

sometimes my mother buys yakut. sometime my mother doe'st.it is very expensive.thats why somtimes my mother doe'st buy.

Marc said...

Because they want you to drink one a day, and it is enough for a week? I love Yakult. Vitagen will never compare in terms of taste.