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Asia: The new hotspot for probiotic drinks

Asia-Pacific is the number 2 market for probiotic drinks after North America; generating about USD18 billion in sales annually.

The main reason why probiotic drinks sell best in countries like India, China and Japan, is probably because the regulations on health claims in Asian countries are not that stringent. For instance, though Yakult only entered the Indian market in 2008, it managed to increase its sales by at least 60 percent every year in the country. It also hopes to sell at least 10 million bottles of its fermented milk beverages per day in Japan alone in 2012, so as to push its annual global sales to 320 billion bottles.

It is expected that the global sales value of the probiotic drinks market will rise 51 percent to USD42 billion by 2016. Given the growing popularity of probiotic-enhanced products across Asia, this region presents ample scope for growth for fermented drink makers.

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