GEORGE TOWN: Penangites are flocking to coconut stalls amid the heatwave to quench their thirst and to stay hydrated post-vaccination.
Writer Shan Jee Ling, 38, said she needed a thirst quencher since the weather had been extremely hot lately.
“It rained this morning but did not make a difference. It is still humid. I am not a big fan of coconut water but do realise its benefits, especially on a hot day.
“I drank coconut water three days in a row after receiving my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. I felt dehydrated after the second dose and the coconut water helped with my fatigue,” she said when met at a popular coconut stall here.
Baker Neoh Yong Seng, 75, said it had been three weeks since his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine but he still felt dehydrated.
“It might be coupled with the hot weather but I have been feeling lethargic and the only pick-me-up that works is coconut water.
“I walk over from my house every day to get a packet in the morning,” he said.
Lim Seong Kee, who has been selling coconut water at his shop along Island Glades, said business has picked up lately.
“There has been a 50% hike in sales and there is not enough supply to meet the demand. We used to order 200 to 300 coconuts a day but now we have to double the supply.
“Our suppliers from Selangor and Perak cannot meet the demand so we have to get coconuts from others as well,” he said.
Lim said most of the time, they had to turn away customers in the evening as they were done for the day.
Coconut supplier K. Manoharan, who gets his coconuts from Perak, said he could not meet the demand as it had almost doubled.
He said he supplies to around 20 to 30 shops in Penang.
“I bring in about 1,000 to 1,200 coconuts a day but lately they say it is not enough.
“I cannot meet their demand as there are not enough coconuts to go around,” he said, adding that the increase in demand was due to the pandemic and people wanting to drink coconut water after their vaccination.
Manoharan said his family business had been running for generations and this was the first time demand reached this high.
“There have been times when there was a high demand for coconut water but it has never been this high,” he said.