Although the Ramune can be enjoyed throughout the year, the Japanese refreshment is associated with the hot summer days. The attractiveness of this drink is not only its carbonated sweetness, but the iconic glass bottles in which it is sold, as well as the translucent sphere that is inside your neck, which makes it a fun and charming complement for any picnic or snack. However, in this second summer of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Future of Ramune faces a gloomy panorama, since the COVID-19 forces the manufacturing facilities to close and causes a minced sales fall.
Created at the end of the 19th century by a Scottish pharmacist in Kobe, the Ramune has experienced a lot of love and a positive reception, becoming a success in Japan and even abroad. At one point, Ramune's production facilities were counted at around 2,300 in Japan at the top of its popularity, although unfortunately those golden days have not continued to the present. Before the pandemic, there were only 37 companies left, and with the closure of four in 2020, the number of manufacturers of Ramune has fallen to 33 in total.
In terms of sales, they have fallen into all areas of this iconic refreshment. The sale of Ramune in glass bottles totaled 1,319,000 units in 2019, while the sales of 2020 showed a decrease of 35% with only 855,000 bottles sold. Instead, for the Ramune sold in plastic containers, the fall in sales is even more pronounced: 1,160,000 bottles sold in 2019 compared to 279,000 bottles sold in 2020, or a 76% decrease. But what has led this fall specifically? The COVID-19 has affected a variety of different industries, but what about Ramune's situation?
The main reason why the Ramune industry has received a financial coup is due to the lack of festivities and events where this drink is commonly sold, such as summer festivals, according to the National Ramune Association. Second, the Izayaka bars generally generate many income for Ramune's sellers, since it is also used in cocktails, but with commercial hours shortened by the decrees of the emergency state of the different prefectures, demand has also decreased. Finally, tourist places also sell a good amount of Ramune, but Japan is still closed to international tourists and many locals have postponed the national travel plans.
With Japan facing its fourth wave of infections and a growing concern for the slow application of vaccines in the country, it is fair to say that many producers of Ramune are not optimistic that sales recover this summer, especially because several Japanese beverage companies and Refreshments have already withdrawn their membership at the National Ramune Association
Source: Daily Shincho
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