Yakult yogurt drink fly off shelves thanks to Netflix teen comedy

Netflix teen comedy helps Yakult yogurt drink fly off shelves. (Bloomberg pic)

SINGAPORE: Dairy producer Yakult Honsha Co is finding that the power of product placement is so potent it works even when it’s mistaken.

Viewers of Netflix’s new romantic comedy, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” have noticed the main character’s sister drinking a yogurt out of a distinctive little bottle, and are talking about it on Twitter, according to Mark Bachman, head of M Science’s TickerTags, a research firm that analyses the relationship between social media and a company’s performance.

In the movie, the drink is called a “Korean yogurt smoothie,” but audiences have clearly spotted Yakult’s “distinct red foil top,” Bachman said in a note to clients on Friday.

“While the brand is of Japanese origin and was never mentioned by name in the movie, it is clearly a Yakult bottle, which Twitter users quickly noticed,” he said.

Yakult’s “mention frequency” spiked after the release of the Netflix movie and a majority of the conversations were directly related to interest in the product, according to the note. Shares of the stock, which have dropped about 6% this year amid slower sales growth, climbed more than 2.6% since the movie was released on August 17. About half of that rally came today with a 1.7% gain.

“Given the increasing conversation levels, we believe Yakult is achieving greater brand awareness, which should likely result in higher sales volume,” Bachman said.