Traders riding on high demand for various cold drinks as scorching weather expected to continue

PETALING JAYA: The relentless heatwave has become a boon for local sellers who are conducting a booming business selling all kinds of cold drinks.

Nasha Izuddin, 34, who owns a coconut shake stall in Kota Kemuning, said the scorching weather has boosted business for her refreshing coconut beverages.

“The heatwave has been a boon for my business, with demand being so high that just this month alone I have ordered 413 coconuts from my supplier. While I anticipate a slight decrease in sales during Ramadan next month, I am grateful for the current surge in business,” she said.

Similarly, other street vendors selling fresh fruit juices and desserts such as jelly have witnessed an increase in sales as people seek natural and hydrating options to combat the sweltering conditions.

A fruit seller from here, who wanted to be known only as Uncle Chong, 53, said during times like this, people want something cold and refreshing.

“Business has been brisk after the Chinese New Year and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the customers with fresh fruits.”

Despite the opportunities presented by the heatwave, a public health medicine professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Dr Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh said the prolonged heat is also a challenge for public health.

“Aside from catering to customer needs during the heatwave and concentrating solely on increasing income, I hope that local vendors also prioritise their health and well-being.

“It’s crucial for them to strike a balance between serving the community and taking care of themselves. After all, their health is just as important as business success.”

Hence, Sharifa encouraged vendors to stay hydrated, take breaks when needed and get enough rest amid the demanding conditions during the heatwave.

The Meteorological Department has issued a level one heatwave alert for certain areas as intense heat is experienced across the peninsula.

Sharifa said a level one warning is given when temperatures range between 35°C and 37°C for three consecutive days.

She cautioned against consuming caffeinated drinks as they are diuretics and will increase urine production and contribute to dehydration.

Besides this, she also emphasised the importance of vendors providing clean and safe drinks from reliable water sources to ensure the health and safety of their customers.

“We need to implement proactive and preventive measures, such as taking care of our daily food intake to address the challenges posed by the heatwave. For instance, we should consume drinks with moderate sugar levels as those high in sugar can increase dehydration and lead to energy crashes.

“Excessive sugar intake during hot weather can also increase the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke.”

Despite these challenges, Sharifa said the resilience and adaptability of local sellers have been evident during this period of extreme weather.

“From providing refreshing beverages, entrepreneurs across Malaysia have stepped up to meet the needs of their communities. As the heatwave continues to grip the nation, it’s clear that Malaysian businesses are finding innovative ways to thrive in the face of adversity.”

By prioritising health and eliminating unhealthy beverages from their businesses, Sharifa said local sellers can serve their customers better and sustain their businesses in the long run.

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