As a result, formulators for the 125 million population are extending their range of fruit-flavoured vinegar beverages, writes the Japan Times.
Apple, litchi, cranberry feature, among others, in the range of varieties on offer, as firms turn to the fad to boost sales.
The Japan Times article cites vinegar brewer Uchibori Vinegar that has seen average monthly sales at each of its six shops rise ten-fold from two years ago, when it opened its first Oaks Heart vinegar shop in Nagoya, said the managing director, Mitsuyasu Uchibori.
The shops offer more than 40 kinds of vinegar, made from mango, pears, raspberries, strawberries and other fruit. Although the firm said the vinegars should be drunk with water or milk.
Vinegar is mainly used as a seasoning, including the rice used in sushi and dressings for salads, but the number of people drinking it has grown.
"According to Japan's largest vinegar maker, Mizkan Group, the market for drinking vinegar nearly tripled to 21.46 billion yen between March and August 2004 from 7.57 billion yen in the same period in 2000," claims the article.
Further, the article claims the upswing in consumption is due to links to supposed health benefits of vinegar, including that it promotes blood circulation, can stimulate appetite and assist in digestion.