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Japanese market heats up for cooling goods
Publication Date : 08-05-2012
Pharmaceutical and cosmetic firms are increasing production of cooling goods, as people will likely be required to reduce electricity usage this summer due to expected power shortages.
These firms are revising their sales projections upward based on expectations that sales of such items will exceed those of last summer, as areas hit by power shortages will expand to western Japan.
Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. plans to increase the sales of cooling items such as "Netsusama sheet", a soft gel cooling patch applied to the forehead, and "Shirt cool" cooling spray for clothes by more than 30 per cent from last year. The firm has already started full-scale production for these products and has almost completed preparations for the summer sales season.
Hakugen Co., which increased production of some of its "Ice-Non" cooling pillow products last year, has introduced six new items such as cooling sheets and sprays. Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co. has also been increasing production of its "Deko-Deko Cool" cooling sheet.
While consumers may already recognise these products, new items also have been launched recently.
Mandom Corp., a cosmetics company known for men's products, introduced a new body lotion that provides cooling relief for more than one hour to its core Gatsby product line.
Shiseido Co. launched a new cooling body sheet for men as part of its Ag+ deodorant brand.
In Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s service areas, where households and offices faced power shortages last summer, power-saving efforts such as turning off air conditioners or setting higher temperatures indoors were common.
As a result, products to provide cooling relief sold well.
According to the market research company Intage Inc., while cooling goods sold well in 2010 due to severe heat waves, the size of the market expanded by nearly 40 per cent in 2011 from the previous year.
As power shortages are also expected in the western Japan this year, many believe the size of the market will expand further.
Last year, these companies could not increase production due to difficulties in obtaining a steady supply of raw materials after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, so they started increasing production earlier this year.
However, sales period is limited for seasonal products. "Last year, many products were returned in autumn," a spokesperson of a major manufacturer said.