On 19 November 2008, Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. and Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. agreed to scale back the business of their joint venture health food and functional food business, Kirin Yakult NextStage Co., Ltd. Following the creation of a more solid management base, it was also agreed that the Yakult Group would take over the company’s business operations by June 2009.
The Kirin Group and the Yakult Group joined forces to create Kirin Yakult NextStage in October 2006, which aimed to create new value for consumers under the theme of “Food and Health”. The new company was able to carry out some of its intentions, but has also seen the prevailing business environment change significantly, with the market for its core business of meal-substitute foods reduce drastically, and competition intensify. Given these circumstances, the decision was made to scale back the company’s operations in order to create a more solid management base and to react more quickly to changing market conditions.