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COVID-19 Forcing Ramune Soda Companies To Go Out of Business

COVID19 Forcing Ramune Soda Companies To Go Out of Business
The iconic Japanese soda is seeing plummeting sales.

According to reports, COVID-19 has caused Japan’s ramune soda companies to go out of business.

Created by a Scottish pharmacist in Kobe back in the late 1800s, the iconic soda has long been beloved both in Japan and overseas. At the peak of its popularity, Japan has 2,300 factories producing ramune but in 2019 only 37 ramune companies remained. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, a number of companies were forced to close as sales dropped 35 percent (1,319,000 units in 2019, 855,000 units in 2020), while sales of ramune in plastic bottles fell 76 percent (1,160,000 units in 2019, 279,000 units in 2020).

According to the National Ramune Association, the drop in sales is due to restrictions brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. More specifically, summer festivals where ramune is a mainstay have not been held throughout Japan, izakaya restaurants have faced shortened operation hours and international tourists have not been able to visit tourist locations. With Japan now facing an extended state of emergency period, it seems that sales locally will not be recovering anytime soon. However, some ramune companies are switching focuses abroad, increasing shipments overseas to meet the growing interest in the iconic soda outside of Japan.

About the author

Smriti Rajan

Smriti Rajan comes from a political science and literature background, having an immense passion for writing across varied topics. She has written several articles and blogs for diverse audiences worldwide. She has produced several research publications, policy frameworks, and opinion pieces for think tanks, government institutions and corporates. Alongside this, she writes for a large Fortune 500 clientele and is a key contributing writer for Wikistrat on their EMEA desk. Currently, she resides in India.