Yakult Chooses Bartow County for second US production facility

July 19, 2023

Atlanta, GA – Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced that Yakult U.S.A., a Japanese probiotic beverage company, will build its second U.S. facility in Bartow County, creating more than 90 new jobs and investing an estimated ...

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Atlanta, GA – Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced that Yakult U.S.A., a Japanese probiotic beverage company, will build its second U.S. facility in Bartow County, creating more than 90 new jobs and investing an estimated $305 million in a new beverage production facility.

“With a reliable logistics network that connects Georgia companies with markets across the world, we continue to attract world-class companies like Yakult U.S.A.,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “Northwest Georgia has seen incredible growth since I took office, creating more than 11,000 jobs for hardworking Georgians across the region. We’re proud to welcome Yakult as they further that success.”

Yakult U.S.A. was formed in 1990, and its first product manufacturing facility in the U.S. was completed in 2014.

“Yakult was created in Japan in 1935 and has more than 80 years of history. Today, the product is sold in 40 countries, including at major retailers in the United States,” said Yutaka Misumi, President and CEO of Yakult U.S.A. “The State of Georgia meets our business needs in terms of the climate for our production, the logistics for the product distribution, and the positive support from the state and the county. We believe that the new facility will be the main supplier for eastern and central U.S. markets. We are pleased that we will provide more opportunities for our customers in the U.S. with the opening of this new location.”

Yakult’s new production facility will be located at Highland 75 Corporate / Industrial Park, a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) Certified site, about 45 minutes northwest of Atlanta. The company will be hiring for full-time managers and assistants, including staff positions in human resources, machine operation and maintenance, quality control, and warehouse roles. The facility is predicted to come online in 2026.

The new location is expected to be larger than Yakult’s only other U.S. operation in California. Yakult facilities provide free tours to the public which teach visitors about the benefits of probiotics and how to produce dairy products.

“I am pleased to welcome Yakult to our community,” said Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini. “They will be a great addition to our family of industries bringing quality jobs and investment, along with a business that is part of the evolving part of the food industry.”

“I’m excited to welcome Yakult to Highland 75, adding to the diversity of our industries as we continue to add quality jobs and investment,” said Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor. “The decision to locate at a GRAD site shows again that speed to market in a pro-business community is the way we do business in Cartersville and Bartow County.”

“This investment by Yakult U.S.A. in metro Atlanta and Bartow County will contribute to the growth and diversity of our region. We welcome the quality jobs they provide that will help nurture a healthy, thriving community,” said Metro Atlanta Chamber President and CEO Katie Kirkpatrick. “Japanese companies have long been important players in metro Atlanta, and we are grateful for the company’s commitment to our region. Congratulations to the team at Yakult U.S.A. and all of the organizations that supported this decision.”

Project Manager Mellissa Takeuchi represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce team on these projects in partnership with the Bartow-Cartersville Joint Development Authority, Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Georgia Power.

“We could not choose a better opportunity to celebrate 50 years of continuous representation in Japan than by adding Yakult to our business community,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Georgia’s international offices act as a bridge connecting Georgia to strategic markets to facilitate trade, investment, and tourism opportunities. This news is another example of how the partnerships built by the Japan Office have contributed to job creation in Georgia’s manufacturing, food processing, and automotive industries across the state.”

Japan is one of Georgia’s leading investor nations and top trading partners. There are more than 460 Japanese facilities operating in the state, employing over 49,000 Georgians. In 2022, trade between Georgia and Japan totaled more than $9.7 billion, placing Japan as state’s 6th top market for total trade.

The State of Georgia has had continuous economic development representation in Japan since 1973 and has assisted hundreds of Japanese firms in locating to Georgia. Japan has maintained a consular presence in Georgia since 1974. Atlanta is also home to the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

Georgia is a charter member of the Southeastern United States (SEUS) Japan Alliance, established in 1976, and hosted the 42nd Annual Joint Meeting of the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association and Southeast U.S./Japan Association in Savannah during Governor Kemp’s first year in office.