Non-Dairy Margarine & Butter, Cheese, Cream, & Yogurts

beIn Japan you can find many plant-based dairy alternatives, including plant-based margarine, soy yogurt, and soy cream. Below are some examples of the products available.

Some foods contain flavoring and emulsifiers which may be animal-derived or sugar that may be bone-char processed. We have marked below wherever we have information on how these ingredients were made.


Vegan margarine is not the easiest thing to find in Japan, but there are a few options. We’ve listed them below. As always, dairy products and gelatin are the problem. Here is an example of regular margarine containing gelatin (the third ingredient):

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Meiji’s Cake Margarine contains pork-based emulsifier per their customer service.

Actually, on the website, the ingredients say 乳化剤(大豆由来)(Emulsifier-soy derived). Per the company’s customer service, that does not imply that it’s only soy emulsifier, just that soy emulsifier is included, which is information they have to include for people who have allergies. This product contains both pig and soy emulsifier.

Meiji Cake Margarine/明治ケーキマーガリン. Ingredients: Edible vegetable oils and fats, edible refined processed fats and oils/emulsifiers (derived from soybeans), flavoring, colorants (β-carotene).

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Below are margarines that appear not to contain animal ingredients from the ingredients list, or are explicitly sold as vegan.

Boso A-1 Soft Margarine. Ingredients: Rapeseed oil, edible refined processed fats and oils (rapeseed), salt, emulsifier (derived from rapeseed), flavor.

The A-1 series of products are intended for people with food allergies. This product does not contain eggs, dairy, or soy, nor mix with products containing those ingredients in the manufacturing products.

The package says “植物性,” meaning plant-derived, and “牛乳を含まない商品,” meaning the product does not contain milk. The rapeseed oil is pressed in Australia.

The margarine is white because no colouring is used.

It may not be possible to find this product in regular supermarkets, but it is available for online purchase on Rakuten Ichiba (Japanese).

Boso A-1 Soft Margarine

The Kyoto 100% vegan and gluten-free cheese restaurant CHOICE has handmade, small batch fermented vegan butter spread for sale online and in their restaurant. The required frozen shipping is not cheap, but the quality of their products is exceptional. They sometimes sell their products at vegan food festivals.

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CHOICE’s Fromage Fermented Vegan Butter Spread/発酵ヴィーガンバター スプレッド. Ingredients: Cashew nuts, coconut milk, coconut oil, soymilk (not genetically modified), rapeseed oil (not genetically modified), sunflower lecithin, agave syrup, natural salt, nutritional yeast, lactic acid bacteria (derived from soybeans). (Product contains soybeans.)

Photo courtesy of CHOICE.

choice fermented vegan butter spread

Marin Foods My Tasty Vegan Soft. Ingredients: Digestion resistant dextrin, vegetable oil, refined processed oil, salt, emulsifier, spices, coloring (carotin).

From their website: “It is a healthy vegan spread that does not use animal origin ingredients nor use 27 allergenic ingredients. (The same line manufactures products that include milk and soy, but we practice a thorough cleaning before making this vegan soft.) It has reduced cholesterol, and 60% less calories compared to soft-type margarine products based on the standard tables of food composition in Japan. Dietary fibers that are difficult to take with the ordinary diet are included in this vegan soft.” This product can frequently be found at AEON supermarkets. Photo from Marin Foods’ website.

There is more information about Marin Foods’ vegan series of products (cheese, margarine and hotcakes) on their website (English).

marin foods my tasty vegan soft

Bio C’ Bon grocery stores stock Naturli Vegan Spreadable. As of October 2020, there are Bio C’ Bon stores in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture.

Naturli Vegan Spreadable. Ingredients (from Naturli website): Organic rapeseed oil (39%), water, organic coconut oil (22%), organic shea butter oil (13%), organic ALMOND BUTTER (2%), salt, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin), organic carrot juice, organic lemon juice, natural flavour.

May contain traces of: Hazelnut, cashew and pistachio.

Naturli vegan spreadable (2)    Naturli vegan spreadable ingredients (2)

Costco in Japan stocks Nuttelex. It’s necessary to have a membership to shop there. However, it may be possible to purchase it via Honestbee or The Flying Pig by request. It’s also sold here on Amazon Japan but at a higher price. Another vegan version of this product made with other oil (not olive oil) is also available here on Amazon Japan.

Nuttelex Buttery Spread with Olive Oil

Nuttelex Buttery Spread with Olive Oil is selling for 438 jpy for 1 kg at Costco as of August 2019. Marked “vegetarian and vegan” on the back of the package. Does not contain milk, lactose, gluten, soy, nut oils, or genetically modified ingredients. Uses cholesterol free oils and natural flavors and colors. Contains vitamin D.

Nuttelex Buttery Spread with Olive Oil

Below is an example of a vegan margarine found in some specialty and health food stores.

Sokensha Fermented Soymilk Margarine/発酵豆乳入りマーガリン. Ingredients: Edible vegetable oil (safflower oil), refined edible oil (palm oil), fermented soymilk (fermented with plant lactic acid bacteria), salt/lecithin (from non-genetically modified soybeans), antioxidant (tocotrienol).

Package says RSPO certified sustainable palm oil and 100% plant-based ingredients are used.

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Smoked tofu is not always vegan, but occasionally you might spot some that appears not to have animal ingredients. While not exactly cheese, it would go well with crackers, etc.

This Field of Cheese smoked tofu was spotted in a small shop in Kanazawa and may be available elsewhere in Japan.

• Field of Cheese – Smoked Tofu (Salt Flavored)/くんせいとうふ 畑のチーズ. Ingredients: Domestic soybeans, natural bittern (nigari), deep water sea salt. Note the other flavors may not be vegan. The “ishiri” flavor is made with squid per their website.

Field Cheese   Field cheese - backField cheese

The following product was spotted in a branch of Natural Lawson in July 2020. It’s a shimadofu (Okinawan island tofu), a firm tofu product.

Tofu no Hiroshiya Just Like Cheese Smoked Island Koji Tofu/豆腐スクラップのひろし屋 麹×燻製まるでチーズな島どうふ(スモーク). Ingredients: Tofu (made in Okinawa), miso, koji, rice, sugar, kombu extract, tofu coagulant. 

Product contains soy.

Smoked Cheese-like Shimadofu (2)    Smoked Cheese-like Shimadofu ingredient list (2)

The Kyoto 100% vegan and gluten-free cheese restaurant CHOICE has handmade, small batch vegan cheeses for sale online and in their restaurant, with the exception of seasonal flavors like cherry blossom. Seasonal flavors can be obtained by signing up for their email magazine. The required frozen shipping is not cheap, but the quality of their products is exceptional. Staff learned cheesemaking from Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko’s Kitchen, the American vegan cheese company. They sometimes sell their products at vegan food festivals. We recommend the koto.

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The following photos are courtesy of CHOICE.

CHOICE’s Fromage, Smoky/CHOICE’s Fromage スモーキー. Ingredients (raw materials): Cashew nuts, nutritional yeast, rapeseed oil, white miso, agar agar, natural salt, sunflower lecithin, tapioca powder, xanthan gum, smoke solution, lactic acid bacteria (derived from grain), turmeric. (Name of additive used and its purpose): Agar agar(coagulant), tapioca flour (coagulant), nutritional yeast (seasoning), sunflower lecithin (emulsifier), xanthan gum (thickener), turmeric (coloring matter).

Recommended to pair with whiskey, wine, Japanese sake or shochu, as well as with grilled vegetables, or for use as a salad toppings. Also recommended on top of rice with a few drops of soy sauce.

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CHOICE’s Fromage, Italiana/CHOICE’s Fromage, イタリアーナ. Ingredients (raw materials): Cashew nuts, dried tomato, nutritional yeast, basil, natural salt, garlic powder, lactic acid bacteria (derived from grain). (Name of additive used and its purpose): Nutritional yeast (seasoning).

Recommended as a spread, for use with pasta, mixed with dressing or sauce, used in lasagna or gratin or in a sandwich.

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CHOICE’s Fromage, Koto/CHOICE’s Fromage, 古都. Ingredients (raw materials): Cashew nuts, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, Japanese peppercorns, natural salt, powdered Japanese pepper, lactic acid bacteria (derived from grain). (Name of additive used and its purpose): Nutritional yeast (seasoning).

Recommended not only to put on bread and crackers, but also to eat with fresh vegetables. Goes very well with sake or sparkling wine.

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CHOICE’s Fromage, Rum Raisin/CHOICE’s Fromage, ラムレーズン. Ingredients: Cashew nuts, raisins, soymilk, agave syrup, rum, natural salt, lactic acid bacteria (derived from soybeans).

Made with organic raisins soaked in rum. Recommended to eat with bagels, scones, pancakes, or between cookies or crackers, with coffee, tea or wine. Can also be used in homemade sweets.

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Kempo Instant Cashew Cheese/建歩 インスタント・カシューチーズ . Adding water makes a cheesy sauce that goes well on quiche, pizza or pizza toast, pasta or potatoes, or can be used as a sandwich spread. Available online at Kempo’s website (Japanese). It’s also possible to order in English by messaging Sheila Kawakami on Facebook. Photo courtesy of Kempo.

Kempo cashew cheese (2)

Mame Maju mou cheeses can be bought at the online webshops Green’s Vegetarian or Tengu Foods. They contain palm oil.

Fuji Oil Co., Ltd. Mame Maju mou, Cream Cheese Style/大豆舞珠(まめまーじゅ). Ingredients: Soymilk, vegetable oil, dextrin, salt, thickener (modified starch), trehalose, stabilizer (soybean polysaccharide, pectin), pH adjusting agent.

Product contains soybeans.

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Fuji Oil Co., Ltd. Mame Maju mou, Mascarpone Style/大豆舞珠mou(まめまーじゅ ムー). Ingredients: Soymilk, vegetable oil, soymilk cream, soy protein, salt/thickener (processed starch), glycine, magnesium chloride-containing material, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), pH adjusting agent.

Product contains soybeans.

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Fuji Oil Co., Ltd. Mame Maju mou, Semi-hard/大豆舞珠(まめまーじゅ)セミハード. Ingredients: Soymilk, vegetable oil, starch, maltodextrin, salt, yeast extract/thickener (modified starch), pH adjusting agent.

Product includes soybeans.

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This plant-based shred “cheese” has 99% less cholesterol than gouda. Intended for melting- the website suggests using it on pizza toast or gratin. Sometimes spotted in AEON supermarkets.

• Marin Foods My Melting Vegan Shred– 99% reduced cholesterol. Ingredients: Vegetable oil, processed almond, salt, fermented seasoning liquid, yeast extract powder, modified starch, ph conditioner, cellulose, seasoning (organic acid etc.), spices, coloring (carotin).

Product contains almonds.

It does not contain any of the 27 specified allergenic ingredients.

Made in the same factory as items containing dairy. According to the website, “We produce this product at the same facility where we also use milk, but we practice thorough cleaning before producing this product.”

There is more information about Marin Foods’ vegan series of products (cheese, margarine and hotcakes) on their website (English).

Photo from website.

Marin Foods 99% Less Cholesterol front of package

In April 2020, Marin Foods replaced their previous vegan shred with a new version without the 28 allergens, removing almonds from the formula. Find more information in this PR Times article (Japanese).

The English-language Marin Foods product page states:

“It is a cheese alternative for vegans.

  • We made this cheese alternative, using plant-based ingredients. For vegan (vegetarian). We do not use animal origin ingredients nor 28 allergenic ingredients.
  • Compared to Gouda cheese, it is 99% cholesterol reduced.
  • Enjoy this for heated menus including pizza toast and gratin.”

•  Marin Foods My Vegan Shred 97% Plant Ingredients/私のヴィーガン97%植物シュレッド. Ingredients: Vegetable oil, chickpea flour, salt, fermented seasoning liquid, yeast extract powder, dextrin/modified starch, cellulose, pH conditioner, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), flavor, coloring (carotene).

Photo from website.

Marin Foods My Melting Shred 97%

Italian Mozzarisella cheeses are available in Bio C’ Bon supermarkets.

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Mozzarisella Classic

Mozzarisella Smoked

A 60 year-old tofu company called Sagamiya is currently selling various soy cheeses in regular supermarkets across Japan. LiveKindly has an interesting article on some of their Beyond Tofu products here (English).They can also be bought in their online shop. The blog (Japanese) states that Beyond Tofu products contain palm oil.

Note that their previous Nomu Tofu drink and current (as of May 2020) Beyond Tofu Latte, Beyond Tofu Mocha Latte and Beyond Tofu To-Go drinks are not vegan as they contain honey/はちみつ. Unfortunately, the packaging of the last three products prominently states “100% Plant-Based Foods.”

Although they sell a product called Beyond Tofu, the company has no relation to the American company Beyond Meat. Beyond Tofu products can frequently be found at AEON supermarkets.

Sagamiya Natural Mozzarella-like Burrata Tofu/相模屋 モッツァレラのようなナチュラルとうふ ブラータ仕立て  is supposed to be a tofu that’s like a burrata or mozzarella-style cheese, but the texture is not close to cheese at all. Still, it only retails for about 200 yen, so perhaps it’s worth a try. Ingredients: Tofu cream, maltose, table salt, agar agar, modified starch, coagulant (crude seawater magnesium chloride (natural bittern(nigari)), polysaccharide thickener.

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The following product was formerly sold as Sagamiya Natural Mascarpone-like Tofu/相模屋 マスカルポーネのようなナチュラルとうふ. It states “100% Plant Based Foods,” “100% Dairy-Free,” and “Gluten-Free” in English on the package.

Sagamiya Beyond Tofu Natural/相模屋 BEYOND TOFUナチュラル

Photo from website.

Beyond Tofu Natural

Sagamiya Beyond Tofu is a plant-based “cheese” in block form/ブロックタイプ, cube form/キューブタイプ, and as two differently-shaped “pizzas” called Beyond Pizza that consist of shreds on a piece of agedofu (fried tofu) that you heat up at home.  They do not include sauce or other toppings.

Sagamiya Beyond Tofu block/Beyond Tofuブロックタイプ. Ingredients: Fermented soymilk food product (soymilk (contains soybeans), starch, yeast extract), vegetable oil, starch, starch syrup powder, table salt/thickener (modified starch), coagulant (magnesium chloride (natural bittern(nigari))), pH adjuster, carotenoid pigment. Product contains soybeans.


Sagamiya Beyond Tofu Cubes/Beyond TofuキューブタイプIngredients: Fermented soymilk food product (soymilk (contains soybeans), starch, yeast extract), vegetable oil, starch, starch syrup powder, table salt, thickener (modified starch), coagulant (magnesium chloride (natural bittern(nigari)), pH adjuster, carotenoid pigment. Product contains soybeans.


Sagamiya Beyond Pizza. Ingredients: Fried tofu (soybeans (not genetically modified)), fermented soymilk food product (soymilk, starch, yeast extract), vegetable oil, starch, starch syrup powder, table salt, thickener (modified starch), coagulant, pH adjuster, carotenoid pigment.


• Sagamiya Beyond Pizza, round version. Ingredients: Fried tofu (soybeans (not genetically modified)), fermented soymilk food product (soymilk, starch, yeast extract), vegetable oil, starch, starch syrup powder, table salt, thickener (modified starch), coagulant, pH adjuster, carotenoid pigment.

This version is labeled “vegan” in English on the front of the package. The ingredient list is the same as the rectangular version. The package states that it is dairy, lactose, and gluten-free.

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As of mid-2020, a larger package of the shredded “cheese” appeared on the market, with the words “vegan cheese” prominently displayed on the package. This photo was taken in a branch of Maruetsu Petit grocery store in Yokohama in June, 2020.

• Sagamiya Beyond Tofu Vegan Cheese Miracle Protein/相模屋 Beyond Tofu Vegan Cheese Miracle Protein.

Beyond Tofu Vegan Cheese (2)

Sheese, the vegan cheese from the Isle of Bute, Scotland, is available for purchase in Japan online from Green’s Vegetarian and can also be found at vegan food festivals. Photo taken at National Azabu grocery store in Hiroo, Tokyo.


Terra Foods is a vegan company that makes a variety of products that can be ordered online. They also operate a very popular vegan hamburger and hot dog food truck in Tokyo.  Check here for information about their tempeh “Mighty Patty” product and here for information about their “Just Like Sausage,” Just Like Chik’n Nuggets” and “Just Like Beef Seasoning.”

Terra Foods Just Like Cheese(Maru de Cheese)/Terra Foods まるでチーズ. Ingredients: Soymilk (from non-GMO soybeans), vegetable oil, starch, dextrin, salt, yeast extract, pH adjuster.

This product is similar in taste and appearance to a white semi-hard cheese. Can be melted or eaten as-is and used in salads, pastas, on nachos, and so on. It can be found in smaller health food shops or ordered online at the above link. Photo on left from Terra Foods’ website. Photo on right courtesy of Vege Project Japan.

Certified vegan by Vege Project Japan.

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Japan also has a unique creation called tofu misozuke. It originated in Fukuoka Prefecture and is basically tofu that has been aged and cured in miso for at least 2 months, and up to 2 years. It can be made with a few variations to produce different ‘cheeses’. It can be hard to find in Japan, but you can make it yourself if you find a recipe online.

It’s also possible to  place bulk orders from overseas websites to get many popular brands that are not sold in Japan delivered here, including Miyoko’s Creamery, Field Roast, Follow Your Heart, and others. Tokyo Vegan/Vegetarian Friends Club Facebook group has a guide to ordering from (US) or (EU) here on their blog (English). According’s customer service, they recommend DHL priority shipping for cold items, which should generally arrive in 3-4 days. They try to ship only on Monday or Tuesday so the items can arrive in the same week and not sit over weekends. They can provide shipping estimates when emailed a shipping address and list of desired purchase items. They do also ship to Japan via priority mail, but it can take up to 7-14 days, which might not be good for cold food items if they are warm in transit.

The following product, TopValu Soymilk and Coconut Oil Mild Shred, can be found in some Aeon and Aeon-affiliated stores. It has an English warning on the front of the package saying “May contain animal-derived ingredients, depending on the product.” It appears to mean that some products in the same Vegetive line contain animal products. The part below it in Japanese, 使用してるアレルゲンは、お買い上げのたびに表示をご覧ください, means that they want you to check the package of the product when you buy it to see what allergens were used. The product page on the website also says even if the package looks the same, the nutritional and allergy information might differ depending on what plant it was made at, so you need to look at the individual package to find that information/同じ商品に見える場合であっても、製造工場の違いにより栄養成分やアレルギー情報などが異なる事がございます。パッケージに記載されている内容のご確認をお願いいたします.

The “Kyoto Vegan Diet” account on Twitter reports that they contacted the company, shortly after the product’s release, to find that the product has no animal ingredients.

TopValu Soymilk and Coconut Oil Mild Shred/豆乳とココナツオイルからつくったまろやかシュレッドIngredients: Soymilk (contains soybeans), edible vegetable oil (coconut oil, rapeseed oil), chickpea powder, salt, fermented seasoning liquid, yeast extract, dextrin/processed starch, cellulose, pH adjuster, flavoring, coloring (carotene).

Aeon TopValu Soymilk and Coconut Oil Mild Shred


Below is some soy whip cream that is available in Japan. The Sujahta appears to be the only choice available on the mainstream market/in stores.

Sujahta Non-Dairy Soy Whipped Cream/スジャータ 乳製品を使っていない豆乳入りホイップ. Ingredients: Vegetable oil, organic soymilk, sweeteners (oligosaccharides, maltose, sugar), emulsifier (derived from soy), stabilizers (modified starch, polysaccharide thickener), metaphosphoric acid Na, flavoring. Note the maltose is from corn/potato/sweet potato and the modified starch is from cassava. It is not known whether the flavoring is vegan.

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Nature’s Charm Coconut Whipping Cream is available online from the Youki Retail website, along with other Nature’s Charm products: Coconut Salted Caramel Sauce/ココナッツ塩キャラメル, Coconut Chocolate Fudge Sauce/ココナッツチョコレートソース
, and Condensed Coconut Milk/コンデンスココナッツミルク

All four of the Nature’s Charm products mentioned here are marked vegan on the labels.

•  Nature’s Charm Coconut Whipping Cream/ココナッツホイッピングクリーム. Ingredients: Coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut sugar, sugar/thickener (CMC), emulsifier, flavoring.

coconut whipping cream



The package says “plant-based” in English and “shokubutsusei shokuhin/植物性食品”  in Japanese. The press release (Japanese) states that no milk ingredients were used. Per a customer inquiry in April 2020, the lactic acid bacteria are plant-derived.

Kokubu Foods The Almond Milk Yogurt/アーモンドミルクヨーグルト. Ingredients: Almond paste (domestically manufactured), fructo-oligosaccharides, inulin (dietary fiber), agar, almond oil.

Product contains almonds.



Per Allernon’s website, some products have the VegeProject vegan mark. It also states that the lactic acid bacteria used to make the Allernon Rice Yogurt is taken from fermented vegetable products.

It can be found at the Allernon website (Japanese), the vegan convenience store in Asakusa, Tokyo, and at many other shops. The complete list of shops that carry Allernon products can be found here (Japanese).

Allernon Rice Yogurt/ALLER-NON お米のヨーグルトアレルノン. Ingredients: Rice (domestic), lactic acid bacteria.

Spring water is also used to make this yogurt.

None of the 27 allergenic substances are included.

Photos from website.

allernon yogurt    allernon yogurt 500 g

Allernon Lemon Rice Yogurt/ALLER-NON お米のヨーグルトRiseレモン. Ingredients: Rice (domestic), lemon juice, caster sugar (sugar beet sugar), lactic acid bacteria.

Allernon lemon yogurt

Allernon Yuzu Rice Yogurt/ALLER-NON お米のヨーグルトRiseゆずアレルノン. Ingredients: Rice (domestic), citron peel, caster sugar (sugar beet sugar), lactic acid bacteria.

Allernon yuzu yogurt    allernon yuzu yogurt 500g


Soy yogurt is available in Japan, but look out for gelatin/ゼラチン. Many companies also use dairy-derived lactic acid bacteria to make yogurt. The source of the lactic acid bacteria will often not be listed on the label or company website. The lactic acid bacteria will often not be written in the product’s ingredient list.

“100% dairy-free” and “gluten-free” are written in English on the package of Beyond Tofu Greek Style. The website states it’s “just like Greek yogurt/まるでギリシャヨーグルトのような.”

Sagamiya Beyond Tofu Greek Style. Ingredients: Tofu cream, salt/processed starch, coagulant (magnesium chloride (nigari)).

Product contains soybeans.

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Sagamiya Beyond Tofu Greek Style, Edamame/枝豆風味. Ingredients: Tofu cream, vegetable oil, salt/processed starch, coagulant (magnesium chloride (nigari)), flavoring, gardenia pigment.

Product contains soybeans.

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Fujicco has released a yogurt from soybeans.

Fujicco does animal experiments. Per the @kyotovegandiet account on Twitter, they did not do animal experiments when developing this product. The emulsifier of the raw material is 100% plant-derived (sugar cane, palm, sugar beet sugar). Palm oil is used. The “isolated source” of the lactic acid bacteria used is “fermented food of milk derived from animals” (it is not disclosed what animal it is).

This means that the website’s statement “no milk ingredients/乳成分不使用” does not extend to the lactic acid bacteria.

The medium the bacteria is grown on is vegetable. They did not disclose whether lactic acid bacteria are collected from the source each time this product is manufactured or whether lactic acid bacteria that are already in circulation are cultured.

Fujicco Yogurt from Soybeans/フジッコ 大豆で作ったヨーグルト. Ingredients: Soybean powder (soybeans (not genetically modified)), emulsifier.

Product contains soybeans.

Fujicco Soymilk Yogurt front of package    Fujicco Soymilk Yogurt back of package

Marusan Soymilk Yogurt/Marusan 豆乳グルト. Ingredients: Soymilk (Canadian soybeans, non genetically-modified).

Package is marked “milk components not used,” “plant origin lactic acid bacteria used,” and “2015-2016-2017″ Monde Selection Gold Award winner.”

In 2018, the company stated that in the past, they once did a joint research project outside the company with a university, which included animal testing using their yogurt. They do not currently do any animal testing. They have not decided if they will ever do animal testing again in the future.

It appears that Marusan provided this yogurt for animal testing on request by the researcher. The researcher stated that he gave rats feed which included the Marusan soy yogurt, which they could eat freely in their cage. He worked in accordance with the animal welfare regulations of the university. After 5 weeks he killed the rats and examined the organs. He thanked Marusan for providing the soy yogurt needed for the research. The original research report is here (Japanese). This means that the product itself was not developed using animal research.

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Marusan Soymilk Yogurt with 100% Domestically Produced Soybeans. Ingredients: Soymilk (Domestically-produced soybeans, non genetically-modified).

The package says 乳成分不使用/dairy components not used. Vegetable-derived lactic acid bacteria is used to ferment the product.

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There are some other soy yogurts out on the market in Japan, although they are not as easy to find in stores as Marusan yogurt. AEON is a good place to look for soy yogurt.

The following product is carried at AEON and MaxValu stores, as well as a small handful of other shops which are listed at the link below (Japanese).

Horimilk Soy Flora/ホリ乳業 ホリビオティック ソイフローラ. Ingredients: Domestic soybean powder (not genetically modified), sugar.

This soy yogurt is made by a dairy company. Monde Selection Silver award winner. Uses 100% domestic soybeans. Probiotic bacteria and vegetable protein are intended to balance gut flora, hence the name of the product. Each cup contains the nutrients and fiber of 30 Japanese soya beans. The type of sugar used is called “Ishigaki Island Delicious Sugar.” The company confirmed that 100% Ishigaki Island Delicious Sugar is used in this product. The company that makes the sugar confirmed that bone char is not used to whiten the sugar.

They did not get back to us about if the lactic acid bacteria are animal-derived.

It does not contain preservatives, so has a relatively short shelf life of 18 days.

It can also be ordered online.

Made by Hori Dairies/ホリ乳業.

Photo from website.

I am flora-image

The same company also makes another type of soy yogurt. This has been spotted in some AEON stores.

Horimilk Whole Soybean Yogurt/ホリ乳業 大豆のまるごとヨーグルト. Ingredients: Soybean powder (not genetically modified), sugar, flavoring.

This soy yogurt uses 100% North American soybeans of the highest quality, finely powdered using a patent protected production method, and patent pending lactic acid bacteria. No dairy products or coagulant are used. The whole soybean (except the skin) is used so it’s rich in soy protein, isoflavones and dietary fiber.

They did not get back to us about if the lactic acid bacteria is animal-derived.

It does not contain preservatives, so has a relatively short shelf life of 18 days.

It can also be ordered online.

Made by Hori Dairies/ホリ乳業.

Photo from website.

Horimilk whole soybean yoghurt.jpg

Sendaizu Soy Yogurt/仙大豆 Soy Yogurt. Ingredients: Soybean powder (domestic soybeans, not genetically modified), sugar, flavoring.

We have not inquired about the source of the cultures in this product. The package has “dairy-free” written on it in English, however, it seems doubtful if that extends to the lactic acid bacteria.

Made by Hori Dairies/ホリ乳業.

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Pokka Sapporo Soyafarm Soymilk Yogurt /Pokka Sapporo 豆乳で作ったヨーグルト  in plain, aloe and blueberry flavors is not vegan as it contains gelatin/ゼラチン. 

The product also bears the “Tokuho (food for specified health use)” mark, which looks like an outline of a person stretching. The Consumer Affairs Agency says that the use of the Tokuho (food for specified health use) mark does not require the conduct of animal experiments, and if there is enough history of humans having eaten the food, animal experiments are unnecessary. However, in reality many animal experiments are being conducted. There is more information about the Tokuho mark here (Japanese). A product not bearing the mark is not evidence that no animal experimentation was done to create the product.

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Pokka Sapporo Soybio Soymilk Yogurt, Plain Unsweetened/ Pokka Sapporo ソイビオ豆乳ヨーグルト プレーン無糖. Ingredients: Soymilk, dietary fiber (product contains soybeans).

Out of the 27 allergens, this product only contains soybeans.

Dairy products not used. However, as of 2019 customer service states the lactic acid bacteria is of animal origin.

This product has been spotted at some Aeon and Maruetsu supermarkets.

The newer version is shown on the left and the older version is shown on the right.

Pokka Sapporo Soybio Soymilk Yogurt, Plain UnsweetenedPokka Sapporo Soybio Soymilk Yogurt

There is also a sweetened, drinkable version that comes with a disposable straw available in: Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Yamanashi, and Nagano. It may use the same animal-derived lactic acid bacteria.

Pokka Sapporo Soybio Soymilk Yogurt, Plain Sweetened/ Pokka Sapporo ソイビオ豆乳ヨーグルト プレーン加糖. Ingredients: Soymilk, sugar, dietary fiber, concentrated lemon juice/processed starch, stabilizer (polysaccharide thickener), flavor. (Product includes soybeans.)

Out of the 27 allergens, this product only contains soybeans.

Although we did not contact the company about it, presumably this product has the same animal-derived lactic acid bacteria, since it is just a version of the above product with more ingredients added to flavor it.

The newer version is shown on the left and the older version is shown on the right.

Pokka Sapporo Soybean Yogurt, Plain Sweetened    soybio drinkable yogurt

The small containers of Pokka Sapporo Soybio Plain (Sweetened)/Pokka Sapporo ソイビオ豆乳ヨーグルト プレーン加糖 and Pokka Sapporo Soybio Strawberry/Pokka Sapporo ソイビオ豆乳ヨーグルト ストロベリー are not vegan as they contain gelatin.

Photo on left from website.

Pokka Sapporo Soybio Plain Soymilk Yogurt    20190704_195936 (3)

The product page for all the Soybio products is here.

Pokka Sapporo also manufactures the TopValu Soymilk Yogurt (Aeon house brand) under the Vegetive label. It seems likely they use the same animal-derived lactic acid bacteria, but this is unconfirmed. Dairy products not used/乳製品を使用していません is written on the lower left corner of the front of the package, but this probably only refers to the main ingredients of the product and not the lactic acid bacteria.

Photo from website.

TopValu Soymilk Yogurt, Plain/大豆イソフラボン含有 豆乳ヨーグルト プレーン. Ingredients: Soymilk (contains soybeans), dietary fiber (inulin).

TopValu Soymilk Yogurt

There are also some other drinkable soy yogurts on the mainstream market, although they aren’t very common.

• CGC Drinkable Yogurt/CGC のむ豆乳ヨーグルト. Ingredients: Soybeans (grown in Kyushu, not genetically modified), sugar/stabilizer (polysaccharide thickener), acidulant, flavoring, cellulose, emulsifier.

Soymilk was fermented with lactic acid bacteria for a refreshing taste. Uses Kyushu-produced “Fukuyutaka” soybeans. According to their customer service in 2019, they use two kinds of lactic acid bacteria, one derived from dairy mozzarella and one from dairy yogurt.

Photo from website.

cgc drinkable yogurt

Fukuren Drinkable Soymilk Yogurt/ふくれん 豆乳でつくったのむ豆乳ヨーグルト. Ingredients: Soybeans (not genetically modified), sugar/stabilizer (polysaccharide thickener), acidulant, flavoring.

Soymilk was fermented with lactic acid bacteria for a refreshing taste. Uses Kyushu-produced “Fukuyutaka” soybeans. The website states that because it does not contain milk allergens, it can be enjoyed by people with milk allergies. Per customer service, the lactic acid bacteria is animal-derived. The lactic acid bacteria in this product is not alive as the product is sterilized after the fermentation process.

Photo from website.

Fukuren Soymilk Drinkable Soy Yogurt


Coconut yogurt seems to be making small steps into the Japanese market, although distribution remains limited. Currently available varieties are:

Fruta Fruta Coconuts Guruto/Fruta Fruta ココナッツグルト. Ingredients: Coconut milk, agar agar, psyllium seed coat powder.

The package reads “sugar, flavorings, colorings, thickeners not used.”

Made by Kyushu Dairy Corporation (Kyushu Nyuugyou Kabushikigaisha/九州乳業株式会社).

Per the Fruta Fruta website, the lactic acid cultures are plant-derived.

As of April 2020, the website reads (from autotranslate): “ (As of November 2019) Aeon Retail Japan (excluding Hokkaido and Ryukyu), Aeon Kyushu, Daiei Kanto / Kansai, Sanyo Marunaka, Aeon Market (former Peacock Store), Maxvalu Tokai, Frutta Furuta Acai Cafe Shibuya Hikarie ShinQs Stores

* May not be available at some stores. Please contact the store in advance when purchasing.”

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Happy Coco Coconut Yoghi (Natural/Vanilla/Mango/)/ハッピーココグルト ~プレーン~ ~バニラ~ ~マンゴ~
Available at Bio C’Bon grocery stores. Marked gluten-free and vegan in English on the packages.

Natural/プレーン. Ingredients: Coconut milk, tapioca starch, vegan yogurt cultures.

Vanilla/バニラ. Ingredients: Coconut milk, tapioca starch, agave syrup, lemon juice, vanilla beans, flavoring, vegan yogurt cultures.

Mango/マンゴ. Ingredients: Coconut milk, tapioca starch, mango, agave syrup, lemon juice, flavoring, vegan yogurt cultures.


If you want to try to make your own yogurt, unfortunately, vegan yogurt starters don’t appear to be available from regular grocery stores, but you can definitely get them on iHerb. This one was found at a Bio C’ Bon grocery store and it’s also available on the Ohta website.

Ohta Soy Yoguru Soymilk Yogurt Starter/太田 豆乳専用種菌 ソイヨーグル

This starter for soymilk yogurt uses plant material to grow yogurt starter bacteria and plant-derived lactic acid bacteria. Milk is not used.