More beer on tap to beat heat in Japan
BEVERAGE manufacturers in Japan are set to increase the production of beer and soft drinks in response to this summer's forecast heat wave.
Asahi Soft Drinks plans to increase the output of Wilkinson, its main soda water brand, by about 40 per cent next month, compared with last year.
Soda water was once taken with alcohol. However, more people - and especially women - are drinking carbonated water by itself to feel refreshed.
Asahi also boosted the production of Rokujo Mugicha barley tea by 20 per cent this month.
Kirin Beverage, which updated the flavour and packaging of its Namacha green tea brand in March, will increase the product's output in July by about 30 per cent from the previous year.
In the beer industry, it is widely believed that a temperature increase of just 1 deg C in the summer increases large-bottle beer sales by one million a day.
Suntory Beer and Sapporo Breweries aim to ramp up beer production in June and July by about 10 per cent, compared with last year.
Asahi Breweries and Kirin Brewery are set to engage in a beer-sales battle that will also require an expansion in output compared with the average year.
Meanwhile, a number of confectionery makers also intend to maintain frozen dessert production at the same level as last year.
Their decisions come from the fact that ice cream sales tend to level off as heat waves peak while ice candy and sherbet sales increase.
"We're happy about the hot summer but we can't easily increase production, since securing ingredients requires a lot of time and effort," said an official of a major confectionery maker.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, high temperatures are expected nationwide this summer due to a stronger-than-average Pacific high-pressure system.
THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/
ASIA NEWS NETWORK