Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt Authentic Taste Loved by Many for Decades[Genuine Yogurt]

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Birth of Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt

When the Osaka Expo was held in 1970, Meiji’s staff paid a visit to the Bulgarian-themed pavilion and were highly impressed by samples of their authentic plain yogurt, which led Meiji to develop its new line of products that is known as Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt today.

In order to recreate the authentic taste, Meiji’s product development team carefully studied the samples it brought back from the event, made trial products countless times, and took many trips to Europe.

In 1971, one year after its first encounter with the Bulgarian yogurt, Meiji commercially released the first plain yogurt in Japan, under the brand name of Meiji Plain Yogurt.

Then in 1972, Meiji received a license from the government of Bulgaria to use the country’s name, and changed the brand to Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt in 1973.

While Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt was initially sold under the brand name of Meiji Plain Yogurt, there is an interesting story behind this.

While Meiji’s product development team was considering naming it Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt when the product was still in the pipeline and approached the government of Bulgaria about it, the request was refused because “the yogurt represents our ethnic spirit, and the idea of lending the name to any yogurt made by foreigners is unthinkable.”

However, Meiji’s development team persisted in communicating its passion to bring genuine Bulgarian yogurt to dining tables in Japan by any means possible, stressing that Bulgaria was the cradle of yogurt and Meiji would only use the Bulgarian bacteria brought from the country. Its efforts eventually paid off and Bulgaria granted permission to use the name in 1972.

Meiji Plain Yogurt
when it was first sold in 1971

History of Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt

  • Commercial release of Meiji Plain Yogurt

    In May 1972, permission was granted by the Embassy of Bulgaria for Meiji to use the country’s name. In December 1973, Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt was commercially released.

    1971
    Meiji Plain Yogurt
    1973
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    Plain

    1970s

  • 1980s

    Package change to the current design

    LB51 bacteria with superior bioactivity effects were incorporated. Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt LB51 was commercially released.

    1981
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    Plain
    1984
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB51 Plain
    1987
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB51 Plain
    1988
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB51 Plain
    1989
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB51 Plain
  • The lactic acid bacteria composition was changed to incorporate Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus (strain 2038) and Streptococcus thermophilus (strain 1131). The product was renewed as Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt LB81 (the number formed by combining the last digit of each bacterial strain).

    Government approval as a Food for Specified Health Use (FOSHU) was obtained.

    1990
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB51 Plain
    1991
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB51 Plain
    1993
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    1995
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    1996
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    1999
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain

    1990s

  • 2000s

    Merged with Meiji Seika, and the corporate logo was changed.

    2000
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2001
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2003
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2005
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2006
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2007
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2008
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2009
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2009
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
  • 2010
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2012
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2014
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2017
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2018
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain

    2010s

  • 2020s

    2020
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain
    2022
    Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt
    LB81 Plain

Lactic acid bacteria used in Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt

The lactic acid bacteria used in Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt are the same types of bacteria that have been used in yogurt making since ancient times: Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus (a type of bacillus) and Streptococcus thermophilus (a type of coccus).

When these two bacteria are mixed with milk, S. thermophilus, which is the faster-growing strain, first propagates using the minute amounts of amino acids and peptides that are present in the milk, while producing formic acid in the process, which is essential for L. bulgaricus to grow.

Then L. bulgaricus uses the formic acid to propagate, while simultaneously producing the amino acids and peptides that promote the reproduction of S. thermophilus.

This synergistic process allows large amounts of lactic acid to form quickly, making the delicious yogurt.

Significance of ”LB81”

Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt LB81 contains two types of lactic acid bacteria, which are Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

The “LB81” used in the product name is taken from the strain numbers of these lactic acid bacteria, while “LB” are the initials of lactic acid bacteria. “81” is a combination of the last digit of each bacterial strain used to make the yogurt, which are L. bulgaricus strain 2038 and S. thermophilus strain 1131.
If the quality and taste of raw milk are relatively even and stable, which is the case in Japan, how the yogurt will turn out largely depends on the fermentation starter (a microbiological culture used to get the fermentation process started; lactic acid bacteria in the case of yogurt making).

So “LB81” signifies the lactic acid bacteria chosen to make Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt.

Food for Specified Health Use (FOSHU), approved by the Consumer Affairs Agency

Why it is approved as a Food for Specified Health Use (FOSHU)

In 1996, Meiji was granted permission to label Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt LB81 as a Food for Specified Health Use (FOSHU) by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (currently the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (“MHLW”)).
*The administrative responsibility for the labeling of FOSHU products was transferred from the MHLW to the Consumer Affairs Agency on September 1, 2009.

So if you consume at least 100 g of the yogurt per day,
it’s scientifically proven that you’ll reap various health benefits,
including the following main ones:

Improved balance in the intestinal bacterial flora
Maintenance of sound gastrointestinal conditions

In addition to Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt LB81 Plain, Meiji also offers other yogurt products that are government-approved as FOSHU products, including yogurt beverages such as Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt Drink LB81 Plain. So if you take at least 100 ml of any of our certified beverages, etc. daily, you will receive the same health benefits as explained above.

What is Meiji's complete fermentation process to achieve the mild and rich flavor?

During the process of making Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt LB81 Plain (400 g),
Meiji employs a certain technique called the complete fermentation process to
achieve the mild and rich flavor unique to the yogurt.

This proprietary technique allows the fermentation to occur in an environment
where the oxygen concentration is artificially reduced, to yield a yogurt that has
a distinctly mild and rich flavor and smooth texture.
Meiji has patents registered on this technique and also won an award
from the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

These are just some of the results of research conducted by Meiji over the years
in order to deliver the delicious taste of
Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt to people around the world.

Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt LB81 Plain 400g

Complete fermentation process to achieve the mild and rich flavor

  • Lactic acid bacteria are activated by deoxygenation, and they undergo slow and sure fermentation at a controlled low temperature.
  • The process yields yogurt that is smooth in texture, and rich and mild in taste.
  • The curd (texture) is formed gradually to make it smooth and fine.
  • Comparison of time in curd formation

    Deoxygenation activates the lactic acid bacteria, which allows the curd to form faster than with conventional low-temperature fermentation, and enables more thorough curd formation.

  • Changes in dissolved oxygen concentration and lactic acid acidity during normal fermentation

    As the dissolved oxygen concentration approaches 0 ppm, the lactic acid bacteria become increasingly active, which in turn increases the lactic acid concentration and facilitates curd formation.

Sound logo of Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt

Listen♪

*Note: The embedded music may not play properly depending on the device.

Do you know the sound logo of our yogurt that is typically played at the end of our TV commercials,
that “♪Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt♪” jingle?

This well-known memorable music was created by renowned composer Mr. Koichi Morita.
When our first TV commercial aired,
the name “Bulgaria” was still largely unknown among the general public in Japan at the time.
So this jingle was composed to make people more familiar with the product
and to make it easier to remember the product name.

Genuine Yogurt

The front of the product package carries the copy “Yogurt no Seitō (Genuine Yogurt).”
This conveys that our yogurt, born from thousands of years of yogurt making originating in its birthplace of Bulgaria,
is delicious and rich in natural benefits.

This proud lineage of yogurt, which has been maintaining the health of the people of Bulgaria
– the cradle of yogurt – for centuries, miraculously arose through the fusion of the rich nature and climate native to this country
and has been passed down through generations.
This culinary heritage has been lovingly nurtured by families in the pursuit of good health.

Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt is the exact same yogurt, brought to dining tables across Japan by Meiji.
It’s the brand of genuine yogurt that has the longest history in Japan.

Since first bringing the yogurt bacteria across the ocean in the 1970s through a technical partnership between Meiji Co., Ltd. and the country of Bulgaria,
we have been carefully and continuously nurturing the same bacteria to this day.

Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt LB81 Plain 400g Always by your side.