As markets are regaining the traditional excitement this festive season after lacklustre sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, the trade of sweets and namkeen (snacks) in the current financial year is likely to reach an all-time high of Rs 1.25 lakh crore, says an industry body representative.
During the Rakshabandhan festival last month, the trade of sweets and snacks witnessed a tremendous growth, Federation of Sweets and Namkeen Manufacturers director Firoz H Naqvi told PTI. "The demand of modak and other sweets has also increased in the ongoing Ganesh festival and this trend is expected to continue during the forthcoming Dussehra, Diwali and Holi festivals too,” he said.
The federation is an apex body of sweets and other snacks manufacturers.
In view of the current trend in the market, the total trade of sweets and snacks during this financial year is likely to cross all previous figures and touch an all-time high of Rs 1.25 lakh crore, as the online sale and home delivery of these food products is increasing, Naqvi said.
Asked about the impact of inflation on the common man's pocket, he said, “People may curtail their expenses on jewellery and clothes, but sweets and namkeen are an essential constituent of festivals.”
He said the sweets-snacks trade was earlier hit hard by the pandemic. It suffered a loss of Rs 35,000 crore in 2020-21 when the total trade was reduced to Rs 65,000 crore..
"The sweets-namkeen industry recovered from the setback in 2021-22 when it witnessed a total trade of Rs 1.10 lakh crore and is now marching towards further improvement," he said.
Mr Naqvi further said that at present, the export of sweets from India is limited to Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 3,000 crore as there are "regulatory hindrances" in sending milk-based sweets to countries like the UK, Canada and New Zealand.
The Indian government should work to remove these hindrances through bilateral discussions as it will not only benefit the domestic sweets manufacturers, but also milk producers, he said.
Among sweets, preparations like the 'Kaju Katli' made from dry fruits form a major component and it has a huge demand in Gulf countries, he said.
According to the Federation of Sweets and Namkeen Manufacturers, the industry provides direct and indirect employment to more than one crore people in the country.
Every year, salty snacks worth Rs 50,000 crore are sold in the country, it said.
Indore is a leading centre for this in the country as there are around 1,500 small and big manufacturing units in the Madhya Pradesh city.
Indore's Mishthan Kreta evam Vikreta Kalyan Sangh secretary Aunrag Bothra said, “The sale of snacks increased during the Rakshabandhan festival and it is expected to jump further during the upcoming Diwali festival."