Whenever I’m forced to suffer the humid heat of Tokyo’s hot and rainy summers, I’m grateful for the large number of vending machines and convenience stores, all ready to sell me a nice, cold drink. It seems that not everyone shares my excitement, however, as a large percentage of Japan’s residents have shown distaste for chilled beverages. Some quote health reasons, while others just don’t like cold drinks. Lucky for them, the convenience store, Daily Yamazaki, is ready to meet their call.

In a survey conducted by a big beverage producer, it was found that 40 percent of consumers are interested in buying drinks that were sold at room temperature. Their reasons were many and varied. “It’s for the sake of my health and beauty,” said one responder.

Many people feel that lukewarm water is good for taking medicine. “I don’t like cold drinks; I’ve always preferred room temperature,” said another. “I hate it when condensation gets the inside of my bag all wet,” explained a third.

In order to test the reception of lukewarm drinks in stores, select branches of the convenience store chain Daily Yamazaki began offering 555mL bottles of water and 500mL bottles of tea in displays separate from their cold cases. Apparently, the test was successful, as reports show that the four branches in Tokyo which offered room temperature drinks had 40 percent more drink sales than their regular counterparts.

Starting on the first of July, approximately 600 of the Daily Yamazaki’s 1,600 nation-wide stores will introduce an new drink corner with lukewarm tea and water in addition to their usual variety of chilled drinks. They come highly recommended as an accompaniment to any bentou lunchbox.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News via Alfalfa Mosaic