Why people eat yoghurt around the world

Yoghurt is known to have a long history in Bulgaria. In this East European country north of Greece, yoghurt is everywhere and comprises a foundational ingredient of many Bulgarian dishes.

The history of yoghurt in Bulgaria dates back to as far as 4,000 years ago, when it was discovered that it is one of the many places in the world with the right temperature and environment for a specific bacteria to grow and ferment milk to produce yoghurt. In fact, Bulgaria plays a vital role in introducing yoghurt to the Western world.

The tiny microorganism behind it all

It was only in 1905 did Bulgarian scientist Dr Stamen Grigorov discovered the essential bacterium that fermented fresh milk into yoghurt: a microorganism that was later named lactobacillus bulgaricus , linking it to the Bulgarian nation where it was discovered.

In the 1920s, Russian biologist and Nobel Prize winner Élie Metchnikoff picked up Dr Grigorov’s research and established a link between Bulgarians’ consumption of yoghurt and prolonged life due to lactobacillus bulgaricus ’s ability to kill bad bacteria in the gut, fueling a health craze across Western Europe as people jumped to incorporate yoghurt into the Western European diet.

Yoghurt was only sold in pharmacies up till the mid-20th Century as medicine against stomach diseases, but as demand for the product rose, it kick started larger scale production, leading it to become the commercial product it is today.

The No. 1 Yoghurt Brand in Japan

It was in the early 1970s that Meiji Bulgaria yoghurt was introduced to the Asian market in Japan. It is the health benefits from the authentic LB81 strain of lactobacilli from Bulgaria that makes Meiji Bulgaria the popular functional yoghurt it is today, particularly for gut and gastrointestinal health. A food product that is alien to the Japanese has grown into an essential food that is a symbol of well-being – and has been the No. 1 Yoghurt brand in Japan for 45 years.

Japan has the one of the highest longer life expectancy rates in the world, and that can be attributed to good quality of living brought about by a healthy diet that includes functional yoghurt such as Meiji Bulgaria. It is no wonder then that Meiji Bulgaria has had nearly half a decade of success in the country with its natural and authentic nutritional content.