Business

Demand skyrockets for sweets, masks and sports goods popularized by Japan's Olympic athletes

JIJI

Products related to Japanese medalists at the Pyeongchang Olympics are seeing an explosion in popularity after Japan won 13 medals — its best-ever performance at the Winter Games.

Every day, a confectioner in Hokkaido puts up a notice reading, “Sold out. We are sorry for the inconvenience.” Stock of its Akai Silo (Red Silo) cheesecake runs out a few hours after the shop opens.

The product drew attention after the women’s curling team, which won bronze at the Pyeongchang Games, ate it at halftime during their matches. The curling team is based in Kitami, where the confectioner, Seigetsu, is also located.

The cakes can be ordered online, but customers now need to wait for three months for delivery due to the sudden popularity. Seigetsu employees are so busy that sometimes they are unable to answer telephone calls.

“We’re a small company, so please forgive us for these shortcomings,” said Mondo Watanabe, president of Seigetsu, who has been surprised by the situation.

A flu mask also attracted attention after it was worn by figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, who won gold in the men’s singles event at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The Bo-bi Calorie mask trains the user’s respiratory muscles when worn, according to its developer based in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture.

The 2018 version of the mask starts from ¥21,600. Although the product is unusually expensive for a flu mask, 2,000 people are currently on a waiting list to buy it. The company is unable to keep up with the pace of orders, even though workers are giving up their holidays to produce more masks.

Another popular Olympic product is commemorative stamp sheets featuring Japanese Olympic medalists, launched by Japan Post Co.

The unit of Japan Post Holdings Co. said Wednesday that more than 300,000 sheets had been sold, priced at ¥1,400 apiece.

The most popular sheet is one of stamps depicting Hanyu.

All 1,000 copies offered at the Tokyo Central Post Office sold out on the first day.

Sports equipment shops have seen many inquiries about goggles and skis used by snowboard and mogul Olympians, and the Tokyo Curling Association has been receiving a flood of applications for its trial classes for the sport. One curling class that started accepting applications on Saturday reached capacity in two hours.

Skating rinks are also attracting more visitors than in regular seasons. “I think skate schools that will open shortly will get many applications,” said an official at an ice rink in Meijijingu Gaien park in central Tokyo.

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