Business / Corporate

Japanese companies prepare to profit from Olympic Games

JIJI

Businesses in Japan are gearing up to take the opportunity of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics this summer to boost their presence and expand sales.

One factor that may be vital to making the events a success is combatting the sweltering heat. Amid fears of another scorching summer in Tokyo, the venue for the Olympic marathons and race walks has been changed to Sapporo.

Food makers and other businesses aim to make the best use of their products and technologies to help people feel cooler. The Olympics will run from July 24 to Aug. 9, and the Paralympics from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.

Major food maker Meiji Co., which participates in the Tokyo Games organizing committee’s Tokyo 2020 Cooling Project, will send food trucks to areas near the competition venues in Tokyo’s Daiba waterfront area during the games to sell special ice cream made with its own products, including Oishii Gyunyu brand milk and Bulgaria Yogurt. The ice cream will come with a variety of toppings from its confectionery lineup.

In trial sales in July last year, the company sold out 400 servings of the ice cream in one day as it gained traction as an item enabling them to weather the fierce heat.

“We want not only to help people overcome the heat but to cool them down with enjoyment,” Keisuke Ito, who leads Meiji’s promotion division for the Olympics and Paralympics, said.

Measures to overcome language barriers are seen as another key to a successful Olympics.

Major convenience store chain FamilyMart Co. has started labeling the names of products such rice balls, bread and snacks both in Japanese and English.

“We’ll use the English labeling for more items in the lead-up to the games” to help visitors from abroad, a public relations official said.

On Dec. 19, last year, KNT-CT Holdings Co., which has the Kinki Nippon Tourist travel agencies under its wing, started accepting applications for tour products that allow participants to watch Olympic and Paralympic events, with price tags ranging from ¥95,000 to ¥350,000.

It has also launched “lucky bags” containing tickets for the opening or closing ceremonies and for popular Olympic and Paralympic sports. The most expensive bag sells for ¥2.02 million.

Because it is hard to win tickets by lotteries held by the Tokyo Games organizing committee, demand for travel products featuring opportunities to watch Olympic and Paralympic events is expected to grow, analysts said.

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