Sunday, February 27, 2011

Only in Japan: Lipton Seasonal Teas

This was on the shelf from last week Yuzu (citron) tea, with honey

Now I know that Japan is not the only country with a variety of tea beverages, but in Japan they really try to capitalize on the seasons when it comes to perishable products. One prime example is the Lipton Brand iced tea available at any convenience store in Japan. Each season has its own harvest of a certain fruit, from grapes, apples, oranges, strawberries, pears , and so on. These flavors of tea are available but only for a limited time. This time limit brings a sense of shortage and a feeling that you have to "buy it now" or you will have to wait till next year to drink it again. This is especially frustrating if you like that flavor iced tea, but that means you will enjoy it all that much the next time it is available. I am not sure of all the reasons why they do this but it seems to be the Japanese way of business, and is perhaps very effective and profitable. The same goes for snacks, fast food, and many other foods and drinks.

The label 期間限定 (kikan-gentei) or "limited time only" is a mark you will see very often in Japan. Buying with the seasons becomes part of the rhythm of life, as you await the unveiling of the next season and the products that come forth. It is an interesting difference from my own country and how usually most products are ready available year round (If they are popular). In Japan it doesn`t seem to matter, popular or not, once the season is over you can`t buy it at all!

So enjoy it while you can in Japan, I guess that`s the culture, when it comes to food and drink. I hope you enjoyed this tid-bit of information on life in Japan. If you did, please leave a comment
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