Japanese convenience store operator Seven-Eleven Japan has breathed fresh air into its product lineup by announcing it will add cans of oxygen to its shelves. The firm said it would make an entry into the rapidly expanding oxygen market and begin selling cans of oxygen on May 24.
Seven-Eleven Japan will start marketing the new product, "O2 Supli," nationwide in June 2006. "People are under a lot of stress and can’t get much exercise, so they aren’t getting enough oxygen," said Minoru Matsumoto, a spokesman for Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd, Seven-Eleven’s parent company.
Oxygen has emerged as a popular new product and sparked the creation of city "oxygen bars" that provide oxygen for customers to breathe in. The convenience store operator will sell small portable cans. It is the first retailer among Japanese convenience stores and supermarkets to enter the oxygen market.
The oxygen will be sold for 600 yen ($5.50) in 3.2-liter spray cans of 95 percent pure oxygen, each of which comes with a small plastic mask attached to the top. Users place the mask over their mouth and nose, then push a nozzle, which dispenses the oxygen for two to three seconds.
The idea behind the product is to allow buyers to replenish their oxygen levels anytime they feel a lack of it due to stress, fatigue, or other factors. Seven-Eleven Japan developed the product together with Tokyo based Hakugen, a manufacturer of miscellaneous lifestyle-related goods.
A drop in the amount of oxygen in the body can make people start to yawn and sigh. Normal air contains only about 21 percent oxygen, but the oxygen concentration in the cans is 95 percent, and breathing it in can reportedly bring on a feeling of invigoration.
Each can contains enough oxygen for about 35 doses, in either a grapefruit or peppermint fragrance. "The peppermint should be really good for mornings when you’re tired, or when you’re driving, or when you really have to concentrate," Matsumoto said. "The grapefruit should be good before you do sports or while you’re working really late."