This year, Japan had one of its hottest summers in the recent years, with regular over-35-Celsius days. Aside from having boosted sales of sunscreens and air conditioners, Japan proved one more time its inventiveness when it comes to smart marketing.
Going against the stream of selling ice-cold drinks to defeat the extremely high temperatures, store chain Lawson offered up room-temperature bottles of water and tea. The drinks proved to be a hit among the office workers fed up with the air conditioners and among the elderly people who find it hard to swallow their pills with cold water.
Lukewarm water has proved to be preferred by young men as well, who find it easier to carry in their briefcase compared to the icy-cold bottles that perspire and may ruin their papers.
Another factor helping boost demand is that most Japanese accept the belief, based in eastern medical philosophy, that excessive cooling of the body is the root cause of countless ills, according to the international press.
The trend is being taken forward by Coca-Cola Japan. The company announced that in October it will introduce a hot drink, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, that will be served at 55 degrees Celsius with ginger, apple and cinnamon flavors.
“We knew that there was room to stimulate demand for soda in the winter,” the company spokeswoman said. “Our developers went to work preparing to defy common sense and arrived at hot soda.”