In a (Ya)kult-calating move, Yakult Singapore is launching a more nutritious drink weeks after being taunted by competitor Vitagen for being graded the unhealthiest level by health authorities.
The Japanese probiotic drink manufacturer is introducing Yakult Gold, a healthier drink rated Nutri-Grade B according to the Health Promotion Board’s beverage grading system, on March 6.
They contain less than 5 grams of sugar and are also fortified with vitamin D. It is even stamped with the Healthier Choice Symbol by the Health Board.
The original recipe Yakult has been given a ‘D’ rating by the board, primarily due to its 14% sugar content. After the ratings were released last month, Vitagen wasted no opportunity to take a swing at them by comparing them to Vitagen’s ‘B’ level milk drinks.
“Unlike other Nutri-Grade D cultured milk, VITAGEN Less Sugar contains 8x Less White Sugar and no added intense sweeteners,” Vitagen wrote in an ad.
While Vitagen did not explicitly name Yakult and made an effort to blur the Yakult Original bottle from its ads, it is clear from its video advertisement featuring a man speaking in Japanese.
The Nutri-Grade labels were made mandatory for pre-packaged beverages on Dec. 30 last year to control and prevent diabetes cases in Singapore.
Yakult and Vitagen have been going head to head as household names known for probiotics drinks in Singapore for decades.
Yakult Gold will be on shelves next week at S$3.70 for a pack of five at supermarkets, stores and delivered to homes by Yakult Ladies (yes, that’s a real thing).
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