Tepid growth in sweets sales: Traders

Kathmandu, May 9 – Sweet stores in the Kathmandu Valley have not seen much growth in sales this Mother´s Day compared to a few years ago.

Sales in the run up to Mother´s Day use to surge by 5 to 6 times compared to normal days a few years earlier. According to traders, sales this year have grown by only 2-3 times.

“Earlier, people used to queue at our shop a day ahead of Mother´s Day, Father´s Day, Teej and Tihar, among other festivals. But sales have dropped drastically over the past two-three years,” Jibit Maharjan, owner of New Arati Sweet House, New Road, said.

To woo customers, traders have even started introducing sugar free sweets. Sweet shops have also started selling dry fruits, cookies, potato chips, dalmoths and chocolates whose demand is growing compared to sweets.

Sweet shops mostly deal on different varieties of traditional Newari and Indian sweets. Traditional Newari sweets like lakahamari, anarsha and jeri etc are cheaper compared to Indian sweets and are available at Rs 350 to Rs 750 per kg. However, price of Indian sweets ranges from Rs 650 to Rs 1,500 per kg. Indian sweets are based on milk, while Nepali sweets are primarily flour based.Sugar free sweets are available in range of Rs 900 to Rs 1,800 per kg. Traders say sugar free sweets are expensive as they have to use sugar free cubes which is expensive than ordinary sugar.

Suman Sayami, proprietor of Sweet Cave, Kalimati and vice president of Sweets and Snacks Association Nepal said demand for sweets is not growing at the rate compared to a few years ago as people are becoming health conscious and thus consuming less sweets. “Demand for sugar free sweets, however, is increasing,” he added.

According to traders, demand for sugar free sweet varieties like kalakand, kaju barfi, soan papad, sweet balls and peda are high this Mother´s Day.

SN Agarwal of Angan, New Road, said demand for sugar free sweets is growing also because they can be stored for a longer time. “People have switched to sugar free chocolates, dalmoths, chips, cookies and dry fruits among varieties,” he added.

Aagan, Anmol, Sajangoth, Sangam, Nandan and Rameshwar´s are the popular Indian sweets brands present in Nepal. Similarly, Ram Bhandar, Sweet Cave, New Arati Sweets, Shree Nanda Mithai Bhandar and Kasthamandap Khadhya Udhyog are some of the local sweet stores.