Yakult, Kia Projects To Create Nearly 300 Jobs In Georgia

The expansion projects, in the beverage and electric vehicle industries, will create total investments of more than $500M at locations in Bartow County and West Point.

Yakult U.S.A., a Japanese probiotic beverage company, will invest an estimated $305 million to build its second U.S. facility in Bartow County, Georgia. The project will create more than 90 new jobs at a new beverage production facility, predicted to come online in 2026.

“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.”

— Yutaka Misumi, President/CEO, Yakult U.S.A

“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 Georgia
(Source: Yakult / Facebook)

Yakult’s new production facility will be located at Highland 75 Corporate / Industrial Park, a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) Certified site northwest of Atlanta. The new location is expected to be larger than its only other U.S. operation, Yakult U.S.A. headquarters in California.

“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.”

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) worked with the Bartow-Cartersville Joint Development Authority, Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Georgia Power on the project.

“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.”

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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.

“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.”

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