Milk bottle paper lids become popular nostalgic 'gacha' items in central Japan - The Mainichi

2022-03-12 06:21:29 By : Ms. Alice Ji

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ISE, Mie -- Paper lids for glass milk bottles sold by a dairy company in this west Japan city are gaining attention as nostalgic products for people who remember the Showa era (1926-1989) and as novel items among younger generations.

Yamamura Nyugyo in Ise, Mie Prefecture, began selling the paper lids in capsule toy vending machines at its two stores in Ise in mid-December 2021. The reception was hugely popular, and the company resultantly began selling them on its online store from February 2022.

For the capsule vending machine's product lineup, the firm randomly selected five lid types attached to dairy products in glass bottles from 11 designs currently in use and four that topped receptacles in the 1960s. Sales were double projected amounts, with about 1,000 capsules shifted in a month.

From middle-aged and elderly people opening the capsules with excitement and nostalgia to youngsters clapping eyes on the "cute" lids for the first time, people of all ages seem thrilled to see what the storefront vending machine would dispense.

Yamamura Nyugyo still sells many dairy products in glass bottles, including Yamamura milk and Yamamura fruit milk, which appeared in popular movie "Thermae Romae." Japan's dairy companies used to sell products in glass containers, but the material's weight, fragility, cost and inability to block light led to it being shunned by distributors and replaced with paper cartons.

But in the 2000s Yamamura Nyugyo increased its glass-bottle based products catalogue to reflect management policies focusing on consumer needs and the environment, and now sells 47 types of 14 products. The firm says they sell the largest number of dairy products in glass bottles, and that their aim in selling the paper lids is to show people bottled dairy products' charms.

On the paper lids' unexpected popularity, the company said, "The way our customers' faces light up when opening the capsules shows us bottled dairy products' potential." They added that they plan to continue efforts to sell products in glass containers.

Company spokesperson Takuya Yamamura said, "I hope that the paper lids, which have attractive, nostalgic designs, will remind people of the value of environmentally friendly products unique to glass containers, such as how reusable they are."

Customers can buy a capsule holding five paper lids for 120 yen (about $1) including tax at the vending machines, or pay 600 yen (around $5) for five capsules plus shipping via their official site: Inquiries can be made to Yamamura Nyugyo at 0596-28-4563 (both in Japanese).

(Japanese original by Yuki Kozawa, Ise Bureau)

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